When green is positive and red is negative: Aging and the influence of color on emotional memories

Citation:

Mammarella, N., Di Domenico, A., Palumbo, R., & Fairfield, B. (2016). When green is positive and red is negative: Aging and the influence of color on emotional memories. Psychology and Aging , 31 (8), 914-926.
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Abstract:

Numerous studies have reported age-related differences in memory for emotional information. One explanation places emphasis on an emotion processing preference in older adults that reflects their socioemotional self-relevant goals. Here, we evaluate the degree to which this preference in memory may be modulated by color. In 2 experiments, younger and older adults were asked to study a series of affective words (Experiment 1) or affective pictures (Experiment 2) and then presented with an immediate yes/no memory recognition task. In particular, words and pictures were colored according to the following valence-color associations: positive-green, negative-red, and neutral-blue. Each study condition included both congruent (e.g., positive-green) and incongruent associations (e.g., positive-red). For both experiments, participants showed an advantage for congruent associations compared with other types of valence-color pairings that emphasized a robust joint effect of color and affective valence in memory. More specifically, older adults’ memory was sensitive to positive-green stimuli only. We discussed results in line with mechanisms underlying positivity effects in memory and the effect of color on emotional memory encoding. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

Last updated on 01/05/2017