THE EFFECTS OF VALENCE AND AROUSAL ON ITEM AND SOURCE MEMORY IN CHILDHOOD
Riggins, Tracy L.
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Emotion can be characterized in terms of valence and arousal. Both of these dimensions enhance memory in adults by specifically enhancing a form of memory called recollection. Recollection is required for memory of source or encoding context, and shows prolonged development throughout childhood. The specific effects of valence and arousal on memory, and specifically on recollection, have thus far not been studied developmentally. The current study examined how valence and arousal affect memory in 8-year-olds, using a source memory paradigm that allowed for the examination of emotion effects on recollection. Results showed that, after statistically controlling for effects of age, valence enhanced memory for items, but not source, and that there were gender differences in the effects of arousal on source memory, with girls showing better performance in the high-arousal condition and boys showing better performance in the low-arousal condition.