State Dependent Memories

State dependent memories are memories that are triggered or enhanced by a person’s current mood because of the relationship to memories formed when you were in a similar state.

For instance, happy memories are more easily or intensely remembered when one is already feeling happy and the same goes for sadness or anger. Think about it, you’re at a picnic with your family having a good time. It’s really easy to flash back to other good times that you’ve had.

Likewise, if you’re fighting with a partner you’re more likely to bring up incidents or emotions that occurred in previous fights – the similar mood brings those memories to mind more readily.

This is related to state dependent learning in which an individual is more likely to recall information when they are in the same state of consciousness that they were when they learned the information.