Effects of emotional load of words on explicit and implicit memory in university students who have a different level of alexithymiaJournal: Klinik Psikoloji Dergisi (Vol.5, No. 1)
Publication Date: 2021-04-05
Authors : Gün Pakyürek; Gizem Özkol;
Page : 27-38
Keywords : alexithymia; emotional load; implicit memory; explicit memory;
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of emotional load of words (positive, negative and neutral) on explicit and implicit memory performances of participants with low and high alexithymia levels. The sample of the study consisted of 381 participants who were undergraduate students studying at Aydın Adnan Menderes University (M = 20.48, S = 1.73), with the age range between 18 and 26, and the second stage was consisted of 95 participants (M = 21,07, S = 2.21) with the age range between 18 and 26. Demographic Information Form and Toronto Alexithymia Scale were applied to the participants at the first stage. Participants who obtained one standard deviation below and above from Toronto Alexithymia Scale were invited to the second stage. Then the word completion task (implicit memory task) and free recall task (explicit task) were applied. The experimental design was 2 (Alexithymia Level: low and high) x 3 (Emotional Use of Words: positive, negative, neutral) mixed ANOVA. The results showed significant difference between low and high alexithymia on explicit memory task. Participants with high levels of alexithymia remembered fewer words than those with low levels. There was no significant difference in neutral words on the main effect of emotional load according to alexithymia level. However, the group with high alexithymia remembered positive and negative words less than neutral words as compared to low alexithymia group. There was no significant difference in implicit memory performance according to interaction effect of alexithymia level and emotional load. Findings showed that high alexithymia level caused a deterioration on explicit memory but did not cause an impairment on implicit memory. The effect of alexithymia level on performance of remembering emotional words in explicit memory and implicit memory tasks was discussed in the light of emotional memory enhancement effect and related literature.
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