Savouring the Present to Better Recall the Past

Desirée Colombo, Jean Baptiste Pavani, Jordi Quoidbach, Rosa M. Baños, María Folgado-Alufre, Cristina Botella

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review


So far, there is evidence showing that the use of specific emotion regulation strategies in response to negatively-valenced stimuli shapes the way people subsequently remember them. However, still little is known about the potential effects of savouring positive events on the associated memories. The aim of the current study was to test whether upregulating positive emotions in response to daily positive events could make participants’ memories more salient and positively-valenced over time. To do so, we conducted an ecological momentary assessment study in order to identify the occurrence of positive events and provide participants with different emotion regulation strategies in real-time. To explore memory phenomenology, a surprise recall task for each event was performed one week after. Compared to the control condition, the manipulation of savouring led to recall the events with greater salience (i.e., more vivid, coherent, accessible, full of sensory details, first-person recalled memories) which, in turn, led to retrieve the memory more positively. Furthermore, the findings indicated that each strategy uniquely affected different phenomenological dimensions of memory. Together, we suggest that differences in the use of savouring strategies might impact memory, leading to the recall of events with higher salience and to the maintenance of their positivity over time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • Emotion regulation
  • Memory
  • Positive emotions
  • Savouring


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