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Medicineworld.org: Linking Emotions And Memories

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Linking Emotions And Memories

Linking Emotions And Memories
Having a child with bottled up emotions isn't a good thing. Psychology experts from Case Western Reserve University have observed that the range of emotions that children use in play can be used as an indicator of how emotionally charged their memories will be.

Emotions--whether positive or negative--in play offer important information to people working with children about how able they will be at expressing the emotional side of their memories. Accessing emotional memories is important for adjusting to traumas experienced.

A number of children are unable to start talking about their emotions or memories with someone new, but watching children play can help child therapists and others working with children gauge how open children might be to talking about the emotions linked to past memories, as per Sandra Russ, Case professor of psychology. She has been studying the emotional side of play and how play benefits children for more than 20 years.

Russ, with Ethan D. Schafer, discusses this discovery in the Creativity Research Journal article, "Affect in Fantasy Play, Emotion in Memories, and Divergent Thinking." In the past, this link between emotions in play treatment and emotions in memories was observed but had not been formally studied in children.

The psychology experts administered three tests to 46 children in the first and second grades in a suburban community. They visited the children for two, 30-minute sessions.

Children played freely for five minutes with some puppets while the scientists video recorded the emotions they used in their imaginative play. Afterwards, the scientists used the Affect Play Scale (APS) that Russ developed to rate and measure 11 different emotions exhibited during the play session. They also had children freely associate words with eight objects that might illicit a range of emotionally-charged responses to such things as a needle, matches, cookie, ball or button. Then children were asked nine questions that explored positive, negative or neutral memories. All were rated for their emotions.

The scientists stated that the frequency of emotions in play was significantly correlation to the emotions expressed in the memory task, with negative emotions stronger than positive ones.

"The finding in this study that emotion in memory description correlation to divergent (creative) thinking supports the concept that access to emotion in memory broadens the association process," they also report.

Emotions in play also were significantly correlation to creative/divergent thinking as in other studies.

The scientists state that emotions in play can not only help children in traumatic situations, it can also help children express negative emotions that arise in daily life and result in better processing of those emotions and integrating them into their memories.


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
Having a child with bottled up emotions isn't a good thing. Psychology experts from Case Western Reserve University have observed that the range of emotions that children use in play can be used as an indicator of how emotionally charged their memories will be. Emotions--whether positive or negative--in play offer important information to people working with children about how able they will be at expressing the emotional side of their memories. Accessing emotional memories is important for adjusting to traumas experienced.

Medicineworld.org: Linking Emotions And Memories

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