The Fading affect bias: But what the hell is it for?

Authors

  • W. Richard Walker,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Work, Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
    • Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Work, Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, NC 27110, USA.
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  • John J. Skowronski

    1. Department of Psychology, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, USA
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Abstract

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.

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