It is said that the experience and lessons we learn are useful for the course of our future life, but psychologists argue that this applies only if you remember the right things! Research shows that a mental effect called FAB or Fading Affect Bias plays a crucial role in this.
A new study published in the journal Memory suggests that we are more likely to remember pleasant events of the past. It seems that we memorize the most negative experiences by giving them a pleasant note.
This phenomenon is called «Fading Affect Bias» (FAB). In simple words, it means that our emotions affect our memories.
The study involved 562 people from 10 different countries, who were asked to recall different events from their lives. After that, they had to describe how they felt then and how they feel today.
It turned out that happy events had left a stronger and clearer imprint in the participants’ memory. Moreover, the descriptions related to unpleasant experiences included positive details.
The human brain has a tendency to skip the negative experiences, so that pleasant events leave a stronger imprint. The causes behind this phenomenon remain unknown, although some scientists argue that this is a technique our brain uses to enhance our confidence.
According to the research team, the FAB phenomenon can be observed in mentally healthy individuals all over the world.
I would add that the results of this study seem to contradict the notion that we are more likely to remember negative events. Previous studies show that negative experiences tend to be stronger when it comes to invoking emotions and sensory information. For this reason, we find them easier to remember and are able to recall them in more detail.
What is your opinion on this topic? Which memories are more vivid in your mind, positive or negative ones?
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