Emotional mood states and memory: elaborative encoding, semantic processing, and cognitive effort

J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 1984 Jul;10(3):470-82. doi: 10.1037//0278-7393.10.3.470.


The effects of experimentally induced mood states on recall of target words embedded in sentences or alone were examined in three experiments. All experiments focused on the role of a depressed-mood induction on recall and looked at the effects of elaborative encoding, semantic processing, or cognitive effort. The overall effect of the depressed-mood state was to reduce recall in all three situations; however, the opportunity to process information semantically still led to superior recall in the depressed condition. In contrast, the superiority of recall of high-effort items disappeared in the depressed condition, suggesting that subjects may differentially allocate resources when under a depressed-mood state. The results are briefly discussed within the framework of a resource allocation theory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Affect*
  • Cognition*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Humans
  • Memory*
  • Mental Recall*
  • Semantics*
  • Verbal Learning