Date of Award

Summer 2020


Access is available to all users

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Psychology: General/Experimental




The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of positive emotions on eyewitness memory. Though little research has been done investigating this question, it has serious implications within the criminal justice system, towards our understanding of emotions, and in creating a fuller comprehension of how memory works. The current study chose two distinct positive emotions and participants were randomly assigned to one of three emotion inductions (joy, gratitude, or neutral). Participants then watched a computer video of a minor crime and responded to questionnaires testing them on their recall accuracy of central and peripheral details of that crime. I predicted that both induced gratitude and joy would enhance the accuracy of eyewitness memory for central and peripheral details of a crime compared to the neutral condition. This study used a series of multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVAs) comparing hit and false alarm rates of cued and peripheral details by emotion induction condition. Due to COVID-19 quarantines, the current study was ended prematurely, resulting in a lack of statistical power. While no statistically significant effects were found to support the main hypotheses, three individual cued recall questions were statistically more likely to be answered correctly by those in the joy and gratitude conditions compared to those in the neutral condition.