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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Moods and Emotions

Men, how many of the women in your life can remember the fight you had ten years ago with vivid detail? She can tell you what you were wearing, what you were fighting about, and verbatim what was spoken. And you… you only remember the fight because she reminds you about it. Why is this? (Not why she reminds you…but why does she remember?)

The reason is…. Men fight with logic, while women fight with emotion, and emotion stores memories. Believe her when she tells you what was said, because she has linked it to her brain for life and chances are she is correct. (The mystery of why you have to hear about it for life… a form of corporal punishment. :)

Mood states can also significantly impact our memories. Not only is your mood state stored in your memory, but recall is best when the mood at recall matches the mood at time of learning. Congruity occurs when the person remembers positive information when he is in a positive mood and negative information when they’re in a negative mood. In addition, if you’re in a positive mood while you’re learning and in the same upbeat positive mood when recall is necessary, you will have better recall due to the increased information matching.

The feeling of sadness can also impact the memory. A sad mood may lead you to a focus on internal information that relates to failure or fatigue ,which may inhibit processing all kinds of information, whether it’s congruent with the sad mood or not. It’s important to get your emotional stuff in order before you attempt to learn anything.

Mood state effects are also the strongest when people remember personal events. A perfect example is with any pilot who messed a procedure up in the simulator. They remember. We also remember with vivid detail an emergency on our airplane. Have you ever listened to pilot stories? The details are all included. Think about this… when attempting to remember a flight procedure, or a history lesson, write a story about it and visualize that it really happened…to you. The event will become real and assist in better recall.

Tomorrow… Friday’s Fabulous Flyer: JFK~ He is amazing!!!


  1. Love this post on moods! You know me, I'll be applying it to my writing…

  2. Thanks Heather! Can't you tell through your writing how you're feeling? I can. Also... be happy when you write. Is that why we go to our Happy Place?


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