Have you ever caught yourself thinking again and again about the same embarrassing event that happened to you two weeks ago? If that is the case, you might wonder how other people deal with unwanted memories and if there is a way to not be affected by negative memories.
Different mechanisms have been suggested, starting with an intentional memory control that helps individuals regulate their thought-contents by reducing the accessibility of memories.
The ability to intentionally control your memories also seems to help individuals regulate their emotional states, as emotions are frequently driven by memories about the emotional object. This means that if you were able to stop thinking about the embarrassing event that happened two weeks ago, you would probably be happier. But how does it come that only some people seem to have this intentional memory control mechanism?
One idea is that individuals who are more mindful find it easier to forget unwanted memories, because they do not judge their inner experiences.
Trait mindfulness has been reported to have an effect on emotion regulation by facilitating selective attention and improving an individual’s skill to apply emotion regulation strategies. Mindfulness interventions might therefore have a positive effect on anxiety disorders, in which patients have difficulties with emotion regulation and forgetting unwanted memories.
With this in mind, the current study is interested in how trait mindfulness influences intentional memory control and emotions during a task in which individuals are instructed to voluntarily forget something.
Group 10 – trait mindfulness