chapter  13
42 Pages

Emotional Influences in Memory and Thinking: Introduction

WithData and Theory Gordon H. Bower and Paul R. Cohen......................................... Selective Filtering and Learning 292

We have investigated emotional influences on human memory, perception, judg­ ment, and thinking. We find powerful effects of people’s feelings upon their cognitive processes. Our first group of results show how a person’s feelings act like a selective filter that is tuned to incoming material that supports or justifies those feelings; the filter admits material congruent with the perceiver’s mood but casts aside incongruent material. Feelings cause congruent stimuli to become more salient, to stand out more, arouse more interest, cause deeper processing and greater learning of congruent material. This filtering is important insofar as it determines what gets stored in memory in the first place.