Effect of Discrete Emotions on Eyewitness Memory and Helping Behavior
Many studies have shown that how we are feeling effects what we remember. However, few have addressed how specific, discrete emotions (happiness, fear, disgust, etc.) effect memory. This project examined the effect of discrete emotional states on memory of events, and the effect of discrete emotional states on helping behavior. One of five emotional states (happiness, amusement, fear, disgust, and sadness) was induced by watching a video. Participants were then tested with three questions on their memory of the video, to determine if one type of question had higher accuracy across emotion categories. Based on previous research, we predicted that memory for central details would be improved for negative affect conditions, whereas memory for the event overall would be best for the positive affect conditions. We also conducted exploratory analysis into how discrete emotions would effect this data. We did not find any significant effects of affect, of discrete emotion in this study, likely due to our small participant pool. Helping behavior was recorded as willingness to participate in a later experiment, and also did not yield any significant results between the emotion conditions.