A “rosy view” of the past: Positive memory biases

Orly Adler, Ainat Pansky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The positivity bias in memory is a prevalent phenomenon. People tend to remember more pleasant than unpleasant events, to remember events more favorably than they actually were, and to view their past through rosy glasses overall. Apparent mainly in autobiographical memory and particularly for self-relevant information, positive memory biases emerge from the operation of powerful mechanisms aimed at maintaining the individual’s well-being. In the current chapter, we review these mechanisms and the various techniques by which they operate. Manifestation of the bias in clinical populations and the manner in which it is reflected in neural activations are described, alongside methodological limitations and directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCognitive Biases in Health and Psychiatric Disorders
Subtitle of host publicationNeurophysiological Foundations
Editors Hadas Okon-Singer, Tatjana Aue
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9780128166604
ISBN (Print)9780128166611
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Emotion regulation
  • Emotional memory bias
  • Fading affect bias
  • Positive memory bias
  • Positive reminiscence
  • Positivity bias
  • Self-enhancement
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience


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