Summary

Further research is clearly needed to identify the mechanisms underlying the effects of discrete emotions on memory, but the findings reported above support the view that discrete emotions evoke "appraisal tendencies" (Lerner & Keltner, 2000) as well as "action tendencies" (Frijda, 1986) that influence the processing, encoding, and retrieval of information in ways that are consistent with the differing functions of discrete emotions. Overall, negative emotions promote a focus on central information in the service of responding to potential goal failure. However, as argued by Levine and Pizarro (2004), the types of information deemed central appear to vary depending on the discrete negative emotion elicited. People tend to focus on and remember information about losses when sad, risks when fearful, and goal frustration and blame when angry. Next, we turn to the question of whether similar patterns emerge in children.

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