The relation between cognition and emotion has been increasingly explored in literature but few studies have explored the relation between social emotions and cognitive performances. To this end, 60 undergraduate female students were assigned to a dual-task condition in order to test their working memory abilities. They were then randomly assigned to three different writing disclosure tasks: shame condition, guilt condition and neutral condition. They were finally assigned to a new dual-task condition in order to assess differences on cognitive performances between the emotional and the neutral conditions. Statistically significant differences of dual-task performances related to the shame, guilt and neutral writing conditions were found. Shame and guilt conditions were related to lower cognitive performances than neutral condition subjects. In particular, state shame was a significant predictor of impairment in working memory performances. Furthermore shame-prone individuals were found to perform lower in working memory tests than guilt-prone participants suggesting a greater interference of shame (as emotional experience and as personal predisposition on working memory than guilt- related condition.
- social emotions
- working memory