Get access

The influence of alexithymia and music on the incidental memory for emotion words

Authors

  • Nicolas Vermeulen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Psychology Department, Université catholique de Louvain at Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
    2. Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research, Belgium
    • Department of Psychology, Université catholique de Louvain, Research Unit for Emotion, Cognition, and Health 10, Place Cardinal Mercier, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Julie Toussaint,

    1. Psychology Department, Université catholique de Louvain at Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Olivier Luminet

    1. Psychology Department, Université catholique de Louvain at Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
    2. Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research, Belgium
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Alexithymia is a multifaceted personality construct which encompasses difficulties in identifying and expressing feelings along with an externally oriented cognitive style. We investigated whether congruent vs. incongruent emotional musical priming (happy and angry music) during encoding would moderate the effects of alexithymia on recognition rates. We found that high alexithymia scorers recognized fewer joy and anger words than low scorers. Angry music decreased recognition rates in high alexithymia scorers compared to low alexithymia scorers. The congruency and incongruency effects between music and words depended on alexithymia level. The anger deficit in high alexithymia scorers and the possible support provided by happiness cues are discussed. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary