Date of Submission

Spring 2023

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Justin Hulbert

Abstract/Artist's Statement

The present study examined the impact of event segmentation and emotional arousal on long-term memory performance. Event segmentation is the cognitive process of automatically dividing experiences into smaller pieces for better consolidation and retrieval, resulting in the formation of event boundaries. Prior research has identified the crucial role of event segmentation in long-term memory and working memory. However, few studies have explored ways to enhance its effects. Emotional arousal refers to the physiological and psychological activation of the body and mind in response to an emotional stimulus. Previous research has indicated that heightened levels of arousal may enhance memory performance. The present study seeks to investigate whether this phenomenon may extend to the impact of event segmentation on memory.

In this 2 x 2 factorial study, 44 participants were exposed to a narrative TV episode containing emotionally arousing materials with varying arousal levels at different locations in the episode. The participants were subsequently tested to evaluate their ability to recognize, recall, and accurately recall the temporal order of the contents of the episode. The results indicated significant main effects of both break location and arousal level on memory, as well as a significant interaction between the two factors. The findings support the notion that event segmentation and emotionally arousing materials can enhance memory performance and suggest that high-arousal materials may amplify the effect of event segmentation on memory.

Open Access Agreement

Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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