'Working Memory' Key to Self-control Under Stress

Washington, May 12 (IANS) Can we anticipate how well someone will control his or her emotions, stay calm during stress, or even accept critical feedback stoically?

Heath A. Demaree, professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University, feels the answer might lie in what psychologists call "hot" and "cold" psychology.

"People differ with regard to how well they can control their emotions, and the one factor that predicts it is non-emotional in nature - it is a 'cold' cognitive construct," Demaree explained, referring to Working Memory Capacity (WMC).

WMC is the "ability to process a stream of information while engaging in a separate task or while being distracted", Demaree said, according to a Case Western statement reported in the journal Emotion.

For example, while taking notes during a lecture, you must listen to what the lecturer is saying at the moment, remember what has already been said, and write it down.

People with a high level of working memory capacity were best at using a coping mechanism to make themselves feel better and control negative emotions after being harshly criticised.

In the study, Demaree and Brandon J. Schmeichel, professor of psychology at Texas A&M University, tested connections between high WMC and the control of emotions.

This research follows a 2008 study -- Working Memory Capacity and the Self-Regulation of Emotional Expression and Experience. Researchers found that though emotions can be controlled, people with higher WMC were better at managing their emotions when directed to do so.

"The 2010 study employs the same ideas. But it additionally showed that people with high WMC control their emotions more naturally -- when not directed to do so as well," Demaree said.


Top Stories

Leave a Comment

Title: 'Working Memory' Key to Self-control Under Stress

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. Daijiworld.com will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will Daijiworld.com be held responsible.