I wanted to find out if Working Memory influences our happiness together with the British Science Festival. If you have high working memory, will you be more likely to see the glass half full, than half empty?

WHAT WERE THE FINDINGS?

High working memory is an important feature in preventative health because it can actually help keep you in better physical condition.

1. People who have high working memory are more optimistic. They are more hopeful and confident about the future compared to those with low working memory; they are more likely to expect the best possible outcome from a situation. Why is this finding important? There is substantial evidence that people with a high sense of optimism are less likely to suffer serious illness; also, when they do fall ill, it is less severe and they are better able to cope with their condition, and as a result recover faster.

High working memory prevents you from fixating on a problem and allows you to be proactive to plan ahead and solve the problem.

2. People with low working memory spend more time brooding over life events. They often have a poor coping style in a time of crisis and instead of facing their problems straight-on, they will often abandon their goals instead.

Why is this finding important? People who are ‘brooders’ are more likely to experience depression. They tend to focus on the negative aspects of a situation, which affects mental health and increases stress levels.