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Emotions and Memorization of Information


Memory can be defined as the ability to obtain, store, retrieve, and recall information and past experiences. This fascinating process is subject to research in various aspects. In particular, the relation noticed between human memory and emotion raises a range of questions about the nature, reasons, and causes of such a connection. Emotions, along with mood, feelings, cultural habits, and cognitive activities, belong to the internal context that impacts learning and long-term memory. The emotional and cultural context are factors that influence the long-term memory and the process of the generation of neuron connections.

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There are different opinions on the effect that emotional state has on long-term memory. It is understandable, as the complexity of emotion means that different feelings will have a different impact on the no less complex human mind. As a rule, people tend to remember emotionally colored events better than routine experiences (Kensinger, 2020). Particularly, information that is related to pleasant feelings often remains in the memory longer than unpleasant circumstances, although this is not always the case and depends on the coping style of a person. Some people might want to distance themselves from the negative stimulations and memories; others might store the negatively and positively charged information evenly (Kensinger, 2020). Mentally unstable, depressed, hurt, or anguished individuals might shift their focus on the negative parts. Therefore, emotional context can have a different effect on long-term memory, depending on the individual characteristics of a person and external factors.

Just like the emotion, the cultural background seems to also play a role in stimulating or hindering memory. It is commonly known that different cultures perceive the world in their own way; therefore, people of different origins will most likely remember such details about a particular event, that are more valued in their culture. For example, it is believed that Westerners often focus on details, especially if they are relevant to them. Meanwhile, representatives of Eastern cultures are more likely to remember interpersonal aspects and group-relevant information. The differences in traditions, background and national traits influence what data is stored for longer and what fades.

The human brain is responsible for the generation of different groups of neurons. Memory is the process of activating some of the formed neurons, which makes cognitive neuroscience particularly crucial for studying long-term memory (Tyng 2017; Kensinger, 2020). A developed net of neural connections helps to remember the information better and recall it easier in the long-term perspective. Besides, as Tyng (2017) states, emotion significantly stimulates attention, which, in turn, activates learning abilities and makes the individual acquire the information with greater focus. For example, excitement motivates a person to get involved in the process, and attentively obtain new information. In this way, emotion can promote the development of new neural connections and improve the overall performance of an individual. Thus, the growth of neurons and strong links between them have a positive effect on cognitive abilities and learning.


In conclusion, emotion, as well as cultural background, can either benefit or worsen the long-term memory, depending on the context and personal characteristics. It is undoubtful that people remember emotionally filled events or information better because they activate the particular parts of the brain. This particularity is important to know, as it can help in the learning process, allowing the person to remember more details and enhance their memory capacity.


Kensinger, E. A., & Ford, J. H. (2020). Retrieval of emotional events from memory. Annual Review of Psychology, 71, 251-272. Web.

Tyng, C. M., Amin, H. U., Saad, M. N., & Malik, A. S. (2017). The influences of emotion on learning and memory. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1454. Web.

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