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“Emotional memory” is shorthand for denoting the memory of experiences that evoked an emotional reaction. It is most commonly used to refer to the ability to consciously remember aspects of those experiences; in other words, the term is used to describe the effects of emotion on episodic memory.
There is not a universally accepted definition for the term “emotion.” Although everyone has a subjective understanding of what it means to have an emotional response to something, pinpointing the necessary and sufficient features for such a response has proven to be difficult. Most memory researchers have considered an event to be “emotional” in nature if a person perceives the event to be pleasant or unpleasant in nature (to have positive or negative valence associated with it) or if the event elicits a change in the person’s arousal level, altering how calm or how excited they are. These dimensions of...
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