A puzzle about affect and recognition memory

Andrew Ortony, Terence J. Turner, Stephen J. Antos
1983 Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory and Cognition  
We describe an experiment that was designed to replicate an unpredicted and puzzling asymmetry found in the data of surprise recognition tests given in several earlier, unpublished experiments. In the present experiment, which used foils that were affective transformations of presented sentences, the affectively negative foils consistently produced a significantly higher rate of correct rejections than did the positive foils. This effect occurred in the absence of a difference in hit rates
more » ... e in hit rates between positive and negative sentences. We consider various possible explanations but argue that the results cannot be accounted for in terms of factors (such as sentence integratedness or congruence) that effect memorability. We propose an explanation in terms of differential changes in the strength of affective responses to positive and negative sentences as a possible way of accommodating the data.
doi:10.1037/0278-7393.9.4.725 fatcat:ar7zofspf5c5xklr6h3xiqhm2y