Every one of us forgets things at times. How often have we misplaced our car keys or ignored an important meetup or to reply an email? Some extent of memory-related issues, as well as a moderate memory decline and decrease in other thinking capabilities, is a relatively common part of ageing. We do wish that all the beautiful memories may last a lifetime, but various physical and emotional factors can negatively affect our abilities to preserve information throughout life. |
A new study perceives that people who have an enthusiastic life and remain cheerful and optimistic- a term used by scientists as “positive affect” are less likely to suffer from memory decline as they age. This outcome of the study expands the research to look for more role of “positive affect” in improving memory decline as well as healthy ageing.
A team of researchers analysed the data of a national study that was conducted three times. The study was conducted between 1995 and 1996, 2004 and 2006, and 2013 and 2014.
The positive experiences of the participants they had in the last 30 days were recorded. In the final two assessments, participants took part in tests of memory performance. These tests include recalling words immediately after presenting them and again after 15 minutes.
The researchers noted the association between positive affect on memory decline while accounting for age, gender, education, depression, negative affect, and extraversion.
Claudia Haase, an associate professor at North-western University and senior author on the paper, said, “Our findings showed that memory declined with age”. “However, individuals with higher levels of positive affect had a less steep memory decline over the course of almost a decade,” added Emily Hittner, a PhD graduate of North-western University and the paper’s lead author.
The study has also brought in consideration that future researches might work on the pathways that determine the connection between positive affect and memory decline, such as physical health or social relationships.
Source: Association for Psychological Science
Emily F. Hittner, Jacquelyn E. Stephens, Nicholas A. Turiano, Denis Gerstorf, Margie E. Lachman, Claudia M. Haase. Positive Affect Is Associated With Less Memory Decline: Evidence From a 9-Year Longitudinal Study
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