Getting over it: Working memory capacity and affective responses to stressful events in daily life. Academic Article uri icon


  • Working memory capacity (WMC) refers to the capacity to maintain information in short-term storage while processing other information. WMC has been related to higher-order cognitive functions like language comprehension and goal maintenance, and a growing body of research implicates WMC in emotion processes as well. The current research tested the preregistered hypothesis that individual differences in WMC relate to affective states following daily stressors. We measured WMC in 92 participants using both neutral and emotional WMC tasks and assessed momentary affect, the occurrence of stressful events, and responses to those events using brief experience sampling surveys 5 times per day across 6 days. Results revealed that more stressful events related to higher momentary negative affect, but less so among participants higher in WMC. This result is consistent with the view that WMC plays a role in emotion regulation. Exploratory analyses yielded suggestive clues as to why individuals higher in WMC may experience reduced negative affect following daily stressors. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

published proceedings

  • Emotion

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Garrison, K. E., & Schmeichel, B. J.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Garrison, Katie E||Schmeichel, Brandon J

publication date

  • January 2022