A new study, led by Florida State University researchers, has shown a link between an individual’s experience of purpose and their ability to recall vivid details.
The findings of the learn about have been published in the journal ‘Memory’.
The researchers observed that whilst each experience of purpose and cognitive function made memories easier to recall, only an experience of purpose bestowed the benefits of vividness and coherence.
The study focused on memories associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Personal memories serve really important features in daily life,” said Angelina Sutin, a professor in the College of Medicine and the paper’s lead author.
“They help us to set goals, control feelings, and build intimacy with others. We additionally recognize people with a greater feeling of motive perform higher on objective memory tests, like remembering a listing of words,” Sutin explained.
“We have been involved in whether the motive used to be additionally related with the quality of memories of important personal experiences because such traits may also be one reason why purpose is associated with better mental and physical health,” Sutin added.
Nearly 800 study participants reported on their experience of purpose and completed tasks that measured their cognitive processing velocity in January and February 2020, before the ongoing coronavirus pandemic took hold in the US Researchers then measured participants’ ability to retrieve and describe personal memories about the pandemic in July 2020, several months into the public health crisis.
Participants with a stronger sense of purpose in existence said that their memories had been more accessible, coherent, and vivid than members with much less purpose.
Those with a higher experience of cause also reported many sensory details, spoke about their memories more from a first-person perspective, and stated more positive feelings and less negative emotions when requested to retrieve a memory.
The researchers additionally found that depressive symptoms had little impact on the capability to recall vivid details in memories, suggesting that the connection between lifestyles purpose and memory recall is not due to the fewer depressive symptoms amongst people higher in purpose.
Purpose in existence has been consistently associated with better episodic memory, such as the number of phrases retrieved correctly on a memory task. This latest research expands on these connections to reminiscence by showing a correlation between motive and the richness of personal memory.
“We chose to measure the capacity to recall memories related with the COVID-19 pandemic because the pandemic is an event that touched everyone, however, there has been a large variety of experiences and reactions to it that have to be obvious in memories,” said co-author Martina Luchetti, an assistant professor in the College of Medicine.
Along with the association with better memory, previous research has observed different numerous benefits related to having a feeling of purpose, from a lower risk of death to better physical and mental health.
“Memories assist people to sustain their well-being, social connections, and cognitive health,” stated co-author Antonio Terracciano, a professor in the College of Medicine.
“This research gives us more insight into the connections between an experience of reason and the richness of personal memories. The vividness of these memories and how they match into a coherent narrative may additionally be one pathway through which purpose leads to these better outcomes,” Terracciano added.
Damaris Aschwanden, a postdoctoral researcher at the FSU College of Medicine, and Yannick Stephan, a researcher at the University of Montpellier in Montpellier, France, contributed to this study.