“This explains why you might not be able to remember a phone number you get at a party when you are having a good time,” Elizabeth Martin, a doctoral student of psychology at the University of Missouri, says in a statement. “This research is the first to show that positive mood can negatively impact working memory storage capacity.”
The researchers gauged study participants’ mood before and after showing them a video clip - some saw a bit of a stand-up comedy routine, while others saw a video on how to install flooring.
Those who viewed the comedy routine were in significantly better moods after viewing the video, while the mood of flooring group had not changed. Both groups were then given a memory test.
The study, published in the journal Cognition and Emotion, found those who watched the comedy routine performed significantly worse on the task.