Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Your memory may not be as bad as you think it is. Research shows that how bad you think your memory is depends far more on your mood than on your memory itself. I found the summary of the research at Mind Hacks.

I always feel slightly disturbed to realise how much of my thinking goes on without my knowing about it. On the other hand, it's reassuring to realise that my memory may not be as bad as I think it is!


Bevie said...

You find the coolest stuff!

While I know I don't fare so well with math and intelligence tests when I'm down, I did not realize "low" moods affected memory. What were we talking about? (Sorry. Couldn't resist. [grin]

It is reassuring. Sometimes I worry about forgetting things. That it isn't forgetfulness, but lack of focus, is nice to know.

Thanks, Fairy.

Jessi said...

This seems fairly accurate to me. When people are sad, upset, or angry, they're usually so wrapped up in those emotions and what's causing them, that it's hard to focus on remembering things anyway. The same with being overly stressed out. It's interesting that they're doing studies on it, though, and getting info out there for people to read.

Whirlochre said...

So much depends on the state we're in when stuff happpens to us.

That's why I've given up going to parties wearing a live skunk round my neck.

fairyhedgehog said...

Thanks, Bevie.

Hi Jessi! Thanks for calling by. I'm enjoying the quirkiness on your blog, you know.

Whirl, I'm sure your friends are very grateful for your change of heart.

PJD said...

I'm on a slow connection with work to get to, so I did not click through to the link... does it say that livening your mood can improve memory? So if you're writing memoir snippets, for example, if you get happy first you will have a more accurate or complete memory to draw on?

JaneyV said...

Where am I again?

laughingwolf said...

ok, i came here for...?

Scott from Oregon said...

I am still busy playing "EIGHT" because of your linking...

(Cool game btw, thanks!)

I shall go peek-a-boo and see what I haven't forgotten...

Robin B. said...

Whew. This is a relief.

Chris Eldin said...

I didn't click on the link yet, but I totally agree.
I'm trying to teach my kids to get 'quiet in their heads.' There's not enough down time, so they're not happy unless they're busy. Overbusy really. Not good.

Anonymous said...

My husband will love this! He's a psychologist and always interested in these little tid bits. Great blog!

fairyhedgehog said...

I don't think it said that, pjd, although it would be cool if it did.

I'm glad so many of you liked the link.

MindHacks is worth following if you or your husband are interested in psychology, Candice.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating stuff. My memory is worse now that I'm well over 40; but it's stuff like name and word retrieval.


fairyhedgehog said...

Memory gets worse with age because as you get older your brain gets filled up with so many good things there isn't really room for more and there's a lot more to search through when you want to find things.

That's my excuse, anyway.

Ms Scarlet said...

I'm glad I don't know what I'm thinking.

Lynn Zhang said...

Pains came from memory..
If we have no memory,then we no longer suffer from misery.
But we'll lose joy, too.
Do you think that memory is a good thing?

Lynn Zhang said...

It's a great one.
I'm a depression patient
Memory is a mystery.And memory is a misery.
But as you said, maybe..maybe memories aren't as bad as I thought..

fairyhedgehog said...

You and me both, scarlet-blue!

Hi Lynn Zhang! I need memory for basic things, like what I went into a room to do!

I think that while you're depressed everything can be painful or depressing and looking back may not always be the best plan, unless it's to remind you that happier times have happened so they can come again.

Anonymous said...

"I think that while you're depressed everything can be painful or depressing and looking back may not always be the best plan, unless it's to remind you that happier times have happened so they can come again."

When you see the world through rose-tinted spectacles everything looks rosy, even though it often isn't.

The same applies to viewing the world through poop-coloured spectacles - all you can see is poop everyplace you look, but that's not true either.

Sometimes it's good to accept the fact that although you can't see very far without them, you can take off those spectacles and see the world in it's true colours, even if you have to take things slowly so you don't fall on your ass.

(You may have guessed - I'm a long-time depressive currently in remission)


fairyhedgehog said...

Hi Richard, There's a lot to be said for the rose-coloured specs if you can get hold of them. I'm not sure that too much reality is good for people.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure that too much reality is good for people."

That doesn't sound like the FH I know & love... it sounds almost like you suddenly got religion!

~ducks and runs for his life~


fairyhedgehog said...

Naughty boy!

No, Richard, not religion! It's more about things like not reading a daily paper. I don't want to know about bad things happening that I can do nothing about because it's depressing.

You know the three kinds of people: a pessimist sees the glass is half empty; an optimist sees the glass is half full; a realist takes a mighty swig and says, "It is empty now." I'll be a realist or an optimist but pessimism just makes life harder.

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