Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Committee Chair

Frank Andrasik

Committee Member

Jia Wei Zhang

Committee Member

Jeffrey Sable


The Fading Affect Bias (FAB) is a phenomenon in which emotions associated with negative memories generally tend to fade faster over time than those of positive memories. Although researchers have shown that this phenomenon tends to be reversed in individuals who are diagnosed as depressed, less is known about the degree to which varied or general levels of psychological distress impact this phenomenon. Further, less is known about the impact of varied retention intervals not only on the Fading Affect Bias, but also the degree to which the memories are recalled in a similar manner. The aim of this thesis was to shed additional light on thew two issues by focusing on individuals reporting experiencing varied levels of psychological distress (e.g., anxiety, stress, and depression/dysphoria) over extended time intervals. Drawing upon the available research findings published to date, both the affect intensity of FAB and the latency of time to recall the content of past events were predicted to increase as a function of the time since the events occurred. In general, we expected to see greater decreases in fading for negative events (as assessed by the scores on the 21 item Depression Anxiety and Stress scale) and recall time when compared to positive events. Overall, recall time was higher for positive memories and fading was greater for negative memories. In short, psychological distress also had statistically significant impacts on response time and the Fading Affect Bias.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access