Have a Good Memory? You May Tire of Your Experiences More Quickly

So you're smiling pretty smugly because you just remembered where you saw that woman who said hello to you.  But guess what?  Having a great memory may just make you tire of experiences more quickly.

Huh?

"People with larger working memory capacities actually encode information more deeply," newswise.com quotes Noelle Nelson, lead author of this research published in the Journal of Consumer Research. "They remember more details about the things they've experienced, and that leads them to feel like they've had it more. That feeling then leads to the large capacity people getting tired of experiences faster."

The new study provides a window into how memory could be the key to becoming satiated, especially on products or habits they hope to quit, such as eating unhealthy foods.

"Our findings suggest that if they can enhance their memory for the other times they've eaten these foods, they may feel satiated and then not seek out those unhealthy things," adds Nelson, an assistant professor of marketing and consumer behavior in the KU School of Business.

Four separate experiments with undergraduate student participants were conducted. The researchers measured people's working memory capacities in different ways, such as how well they could remember a string of letters or how they performed on the Simon memory game where users must try to repeat a series of tones and lights.

Then participants performed a task where they would eventually become tired of what they experienced, like viewing paintings or listening to music.

"We found that their capacity predicted how fast they got tired of the art or music," Nelson notes. "People with larger memory capacities satiated on these things more quickly than people with smaller capacities. Essentially, large-capacity people perceive that they've experienced things more times because they remember those experiences better."



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