Abstract

In two longitudinal experiments, conducted both in the field and lab, we investigated the recollection of mixed emotions. Results demonstrated that the intensity of mixed emotions is generally underestimated at the time of recall—an effect that increases over time and does not occur to the same degree with unipolar emotions. Of note, the decline in memory of mixed emotions is distinct from the pattern found for memory of negative emotions, implying that the recall bias is diagnostic of the complexity of mixed emotions rather than of any association with negative affect. Finally, the memory decay effect was driven by the felt conflict aroused by the experience of mixed emotions.

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