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Recalling Memory? Is it gender difference?

A new study shows that our emotional memories and how they affect us is influenced by our gender, personality and the methods we use to manage our feelings. This study is shown in Emotion , a journal of the American Psychological Association.

Psychology professors from the University of Illinois wanted to examine how personality traits and gender impacts their emotional state.

They wanted to do this study because they believed that other studies of personality and its relationships with memory, only focused on women and negative memories.

Other studies have shown that people with high neuroticism are more prone to become ill with affective disorders like depression and anxiety-related problems.

The researchers used surveys such as questionnaires and verbal cues to asses personality and to give more than 100 autobiographical memories in each of 71 participants. Thirty-eight of them were women. The findings showed that both men and women who were high in friendliness and aggressiveness tended to remember more positive than negative life events. Men who were high in neurtoicisms tended to recall a greater proportion of negative memories than men who were low in neuroticism. Women who were high in neuroticism tended to return to the same negative memories over again and again.

It is important to understand that none of these study subjects were diagnosed with depression or other emotional disorders. But both female and male partic

ipants were more prone to have lower moods after recalling negative autobiographical memories.

Men who made an effort to think differently about their memories were likely to recall more positive memories than their peers. Men who used used suppression did not effect the recalling of positive or negative memories. However, women’s suppression was significantly associated with the recall of negative memories but with a lower mode afterward.


These findings are beneficial for both men and women to help them with understanding how they can deal with their negative and positive memories.




What do you guys think? Do you think that our abilities to recall memories are affected by gender and personality or does it just depend on the person only?




  1. Ben Harrison
    April 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    It is funny that you post this now, as one of my friends just did a similar study for a psych class. Participants were shown 10 words for a limited time, and then were given a short time to write any of the words they remembered. There were seven sets of words. The words chosen had specific meanings to men and women. One section, for example, contained brand names recognisable to many women, but alien to men. The opposite was also true for other sections, and some others contained a mix, or neutral words.

    It is clear through past research that men and women process things differently, and it doesn’t surprise me that men and women remember differently. It also makes sense that personality causes changes in a way a person remembers something. This concept fascinates me. If you had two people and subjected them to the exact same day, with the same events happening, they would still manage to experience it so differently. I think that even a persons outlook can change what they remember. If I’m having a bad day, and someone cuts me off, I’m probably more likely to remember it then if I were having a normal day.

    Do you also think that emotions can change how or even what you remember?

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