Human memory is designed in such a way that it is bestwe remember negative experiences. For example, if on some day a person is scolded by his superiors, and after that he receives a very valuable gift, he is more likely to remember the conflict at work. You yourself can name many such examples from life - this happened to everyone and very many times. Scientists are well aware of this phenomenon, but still cannot provide scientific evidence for it. A group of German and Chinese scientists recently tried to do this. To do this, they had to conduct an experiment with the participation of 64 volunteers. They were divided into two groups and placed in different conditions - the first was in a stressful situation, and the second in a calm one. The researchers checked what experiences people remembered best.
Why is bad memory better?
The experiment and its results weretold in the scientific journal Current Biology. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, 64 people who agreed to participate were divided into two groups. The first group consisted of 33 volunteers who were interviewed in a stressful manner - apparently, we are talking about a raised tone or uncomfortable questions. The second group of 31 people went through a more relaxed interview.
During the experiment, participants were shown 24different items like a cup of coffee, a watch, a marker, and so on. Scientists wanted to find out in which situation people's memory works best - in stressful or calm. They were also interested in which area of the brain is active, so all the volunteers went through an MRI scan. The researchers paid special attention to the amygdala and hippocampus. The first area is responsible for the formation of emotions, especially fear. The second area also plays a large role in the formation of emotions, but at the same time it also participates in the memorization of information.
After studying the results of the experiment, scientists came tothe conclusion that people who found themselves in a stressful situation remembered the displayed objects much better than the volunteers from the second group. According to the authors of the scientific work, the mechanisms for remembering bad and good events work in the same way. Only now, during stress, memory works much better, because a person experiences a strong emotion - fear. This emotion seems to be closely associated, associated with life experience, so it is better remembered. If a good life event somehow aroused fear in a person (this is hardly possible), it would also be remembered for a long time.
It is worth admitting that the conclusion of scientists does not sound quiteearnestly. There are many reasons to find fault with the results of the study and with the experiment itself. The first thing that comes to mind is why there were more participants in one group than in the other? After all, this clearly can worsen the accuracy of the conclusions. However, the authors of the scientific work noted that these are far from final results. They intend to do more research and learn more about the mechanism for remembering bad events. It is hoped that the knowledge gained will help psychotherapists to quickly heal patients from the effects of stress and to forget traumatic memories.
See also: What will happen if a person stops experiencing stress? There is little good in it
Maybe people remember good things better?
Funnily enough, some scientists believethat people remember good events best. This information was recently shared by my colleague Andrey Zhukov in this article. Researchers from the University of Geneva conducted an experiment in which volunteers played two different games before going to bed. In the first, the player was required to recognize faces from a photograph, and in the second, to find a way out of the maze. Each participant in the experiment won only one of the games. After some time, the experiment was repeated and the scientists noticed that people remembered the game in which they had previously won the best. Winning generates positive emotions, which means that people remember the event that is associated with joy best.
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If we take into account both scientific works,it becomes unclear which side the truth is on. On the one hand, people clearly remember bad events better than good ones. On the other hand, events associated with positive emotions are also well stored in memory. Which statement do you believe the most? Maybe you have convincing evidence that you are right, so feel free to write your opinion in the comments.