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Networks of self-defining memories as a contributing factor to emotional openness

Networks of self-defining memories as a contributing factor to emotional openness

Published in: Cognition and Emotion, Volume 32, Issue 2, 363-370

Abstract
“Emotional openness is characterised by a capacity to tolerate threatening self-relevant material and an interest towards new emotional situations. We investigated how specific networks of memories could be an important contributing factor to emotional openness. At Phase 1, participants completed measures of personality traits and emotional intelligence, described a self-defining memory, provided other memories associated with it, and rated the valence of each of their memories. A score assessing the complexity of this memory network, comprising the number of memories reported and their valence diversity, was created. Two weeks later, in laboratory, participants watched an anxiety-inducing film and took part in an interview assessing their emotional openness to the film. They completed a cognitive task before and after the film to measure ego depletion. Controlling for traits and emotional intelligence, memory network complexity was positively associated with emotional openness and negatively with ego depletion. The mental organisation of self-defining memories thus appears to be a critical factor contributing to emotional openness.”

Written by: Iliane Houle, Frederick L. Philippe, Serge Lecours, Josiane Roulez
For full text: https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2017.1284045

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