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Impact of emotions associated with reflecting upon the past

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There is established evidence to suggest that our current emotions affect the way that we think. This paper investigates whether emotions associated with reflection upon prior emotive events can have an impact upon the perceived 'value' of information of other people's related experiences with 'congruent' or 'contrasting' emotional tone. Nineteen participants reflected upon a specific recent experience and assessed the value of other accounts of the same activity. Information with a contrasting level of arousal was perceived to be statistically significantly more valuable. The study suggests that reflective practitioners may find it useful to explicitly seek related information of an alternative emotional tone in the course of action planning. It serves as a catalyst for those encouraging others to retrieve emotion to question their own practices concerning the choice of memories to select, and to acknowledge responsibilities associated with the power to provoke emotional responses.

Keywords: cognition; emotion; information value; memory; reflection

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Business School, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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