Study: Bad Things Are Worse the Second Time Around


Scientists have undertaken to reveal a truth that no one really suspected was untrue, but anyway, now we know for sure! See, what happens is, when something unpleasant or painful happens to people, they generally take a little time and then forget about said event. But when they think it will happen again, and soon, they remember the event as quite yucky indeed. This is backed up by research published from the American Psychological Association.

The studies exposed people to irritating things, like vacuum cleaner noise, tedious computer tasks, or recollections of their menstrual pain. If the participants expected those things to happen again soon, they were quite negative about them, possibly using “more intensely negative memories to steel themselves against the future.”

In the culminating field study of 180 women (average age 29), those whose menstrual periods had ended fewer than three days earlier or who expected their periods within three days remembered their last period as significantly more painful than women in the middle of their cycle (none were currently menstruating).

“The prospect of repeating an experience can, in fact, change how people remember it,” the authors concluded. Bracing for the worst may actually help people to reduce their discomfort if a bad experience should happen, and allow them to be pleasantly surprised if it does not, they added.

Fun, however, was just as fun, whether it was impending and on the horizon or in the faraway past. So, negative things make negative emotions, and positive things make positive ones. In other news, some of us forget things pretty much as soon as they happen, and live to repeat them over and over, complaining all the way. Thank you, science!

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