WHEN LOVE CAPTURES THE MIND: TESTING THE MEANING ACCELERATION HYPOTHESIS
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The main aim of this article was to investigate the impact of love on cognitive processing. More specifically, we hypothesized that a) love provides a great sense of meaning in life, b) when love is present in his/her mind, the subject will reduce his/her motivation to retrieve memories unrelated to love. Study 1 (N = 160 students) provided evidence that autobiographical memory retrieval is negatively connected to the state of love - but only for those students who had not initially induced thoughts of love in themselves, when they retrieved a love episode. It also provided evidence of the greater emotional intensity associated with love memories, compared with other memories. In Study 2 (N = 146 students) we tested the impact of semantically induced love on cognitive processing. Results showed that reduced processing occurred when love was induced.
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