Approach motivation and cognitive resources combine to influence memory for positive emotional stimuli. Academic Article uri icon


  • Inspired by the elaborated intrusion theory of desire, the current research tested the hypothesis that persons higher in trait approach motivation process positive stimuli deeply, which enhances memory for them. Ninety-four undergraduates completed a measure of trait approach motivation, viewed positive or negative image slideshows in the presence or absence of a cognitive load, and one week later completed an image memory test. Higher trait approach motivation predicted better memory for the positive slideshow, but this memory boost disappeared under cognitive load. Approach motivation did not influence memory for the negative slideshow. The current findings support the idea that individuals higher in approach motivation spontaneously devote limited resources to processing positive stimuli.

published proceedings

  • Cogn Emot

altmetric score

  • 1.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Crowell, A., & Schmeichel, B. J

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Crowell, Adrienne||Schmeichel, Brandon J

publication date

  • February 2015