Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Skowronski, John J.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Autobiographical memory--Illinois--De Kalb


The present studies examined the fading affect bias (FAB): The tendency across time for the unpleasantness prompted by the recall of unpleasant autobiographical events to fade from memory faster than the pleasantness prompted by the recall of pleasant autobiographical events. Guided by ideas about mood misattribution, the present studies examined the extent to which individuals’ pre-existing mood moderated the FAB. In Study 1, each participant (N = 156) retrospectively recalled 50 autobiographical events and rated each event according to the affect intensity prompted at the event’s occurrence and at recall. Participants also completed a dispositional mood measure and a measure of global life satisfaction. In Study 2 (N= 166), participants were randomly assigned to a mood-dampening condition, a mood-uplifting condition, or a no-music control group. It was hypothesized that participants in the no-music control group would show the usual FAB: Participants with high levels of dispositional positive mood and those in the moodenhancing condition would show an enhanced FAB, and participants with high levels of dispositional negative mood and those in the mood-dampening condition would evidence a reduced FAB. The data in both studies suggested that pre-existing mood did not moderate the FAB in these ways. The theoretical implications of the findings, the limitations of the present studies, and ideas for future research are discussed.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [68]-72).


84 pages




Northern Illinois University

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