This article reviews research examining the fading affect bias (FAB): The finding that the intensity of affect associated with negative autobiographical memories fades faster than affect associated with positive autobiographical memories. The FAB is a robust effect in autobiographical memory that has been replicated using a variety of methods and populations. The FAB is linked to both cognitive and social processes that support a positive view of the self. Accordingly, we speculate that one function of the FAB may be to induce individuals to be positive and action-oriented so that they may better face and master life challenges. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.