Emotion can have a powerful impact on memory. Many researchers have exposed the fact that the most vibrant autobiographical recollections tend to be of emotional events, which are likely to be recalled more over and over again and with more clearness and detail than neutral events (Conway et al., 1994). One of the most common frameworks in the emotions field recommends that affective experiences are most excellent characterized by two main dimensions: arousal and valence (Russell, 1980), where the aspect of valence varies from highly positive to highly negative, whereas the dimension of arousal ranges from calming or soothing to exciting or agitating.
The activity of emotionally enhanced memory retention can be linked to human evolution; during early development, responsive behavior to environmental events would have progressed as a process of trial and error. Continued existence depended on behavioral patterns that were recurring or reinforced through living and death circumstances. Through evolution, this course of learning and experiencing became genetically implanted in humans and all animal species in what is known as "fight or flight" instinct.
Although he sings about leaving his heart in San Francisco, there exist’ a certain barrier between the content of his song and the way he talks. The latter seems to translate into his feelings and shows sort of an attachment to former experiences. As Mr. Kilgannom narrates, ‘Mr. Bennett lives on West 57th Street in Manhattan now, but visits his old neighborhood regularly, and it seems to transport him back in time to when he’d stare longingly at the shimmering skyline of Manhattan across the East River…..’ (Kilgannon, 2009), emotional connection to his memory is apparent.
According to Christianson (1990), artificially inducing character through emotional stimuli in essence generates the same physiological state that intensifies memory retention by exciting neuro-chemical activity affecting areas of the brain responsible for encoding and recalling memory. The set-goal of the connection behavioral coordination is to uphold a bond with an accessible and available attachment figure or experience. The regular visits by Mr. Bennett appear to activate a kind of an attachment behavioral system caused by his fear of losing past fantasies or sweet experiences. By making regular tour to Astoria, Mr. Bennett nurses his anticipation or fear of being cut off from the attachment which apparently refreshes his memories. If the connection is withheld, separation distress may occur.
From the statement “I’ve been all over the world — Paris and Florence and Capri — and yet I come back here and I like this better than any place I’ve ever lived” (Kilgannon, 2009), Mr. Bennett gives a picture of someone who seems to have left a crucial piece of himself in Astoria, the place where he spent most of his childhood.
Mr. Bennett relates an event where the ceiling fell down on desks while they were having lunch. After surveying the space with a satisfied look, he gave a more optimistic remarks; ‘‘that won’t happen here’’ (Kilgannon, 2009). This may be taken to indicate that during the encoding phase of experience of the ceiling caving-in, there was an embedment of emotional attachment. The provocation caused by the occurrence appeared to have increased his chances of memory consolidation all through the retention (storage) phase of memory (the course of creating a lasting record of the encoded information). Nevertheless, Mr. Bennett seems to be more optimistic now and shares the same believe to the audience.
Has the writer narrates, ‘…Mr. Bennett greeted construction workers, cleaners and painters putting on finishing touches. He shook hands and signed a hard hat. He scuffed his loafers across the floor of the two black-box theaters…(Kilgannon, 2009)’ this explains the passionate attachment of Mr. Bennett in not only refreshing his memories but also in seeing it grow and develop into a great city. This is so apparent through is great assistance in opening the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts to help nurture talented artist in Astoria.
John Bowlby dedicated wide-ranging research to the concept of attachment, describing it as a "lasting psychological connectedness between human beings" (Bowlby, 1969). Bowlby shared the psychoanalytic view that early experiences in upbringing have an important influence on development and behavior later in life. Bowlby supposed that attachment had an evolutionary constituent; it assists in continued existence. This typifies Mr. Bennett.
Maybe what connected Mr. Bennett to his early childhood upbringing can be gotten from the statement; ‘…….where Mr. Bennett grew up in a meager two-story house on 32nd Street near Ditmars Boulevard during the Great Depression (Kilgannon, 2009).’ The humble upbringing appears to have a lot to do with his current life and related emotions. As a mark in life, the days of Great Depression left many with prints of their past and some of those experiences keeps on recurring whenever one comes across similar events or things that reminds them of what happened then.
The statement, ‘…….Even as a child, he sang whenever and wherever he could, including next to Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia during the 1936 opening ceremony for the Triborough Bridge..’ (Kilgannon, 2009), denotes a harmonious kind of passion that originates from an autonomous internalization of his singing as an activity in identity and that has led him to stick into this particular activity that he treasures. Harmonious passion is expected to mainly lead to more adaptive outcomes as we can see with Mr. Bennett.