Event: Undergraduate Research Symposium
Date: May 18, 2019
Location: UCI Student Center
Presenters: Jennifer Truong, Seung Min (Austin) Moon
Mentor: Susanne Jaeggi
Title: The Effect of Positive Mood on Spatial/Verbal Working Memory
Mood is defined as the general, low-level feeling state that fluctuates between positive and negative and has been shown to affect cognition. According to the dopamine theory of positive affect, positive mood is associated with higher dopamine levels and better working memory (WM) function. To examine the effect positive mood has on WM performance, participants were asked to perform WM tasks after a mood induction. Positive mood was induced by asking participants to recall the happiest moment in their life while participants in the control condition were asked to recall their trip to the lab. In contrast to our hypotheses, task performance did not differ significantly between the two conditions. These results suggest that positive affect does not have a robust effect on improving WM. Stronger mood induction may be needed to see an effect on WM performance.
Jennifer Truong at 2019 UROP Symposium