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Open Access research that challenges the mind...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Selective memory bias for self threatening memories in trait anxiety

Saunders, Jo (2013) Selective memory bias for self threatening memories in trait anxiety. Cognition and Emotion, 27. pp. 21-36. ISSN 1464-0600

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Abstract

Previous research has suggested that we tend to forget information that is self-threatening—an effect known as mnemic neglect. Three experiments are reported, which examined mnemic neglect in anxiety and whether high-anxious individuals show facilitated memory for self-threatening material. In Experiment 1, high-anxious participants were found to have facilitated memory for self-threatening information in comparison to low-anxious participants. In Experiments 2 and 3 boundary conditions to this memory bias for self-threatening memories were examined, which revealed facilitated recall of self-threatening memories when this information was unmodifiable (Experiment 2) and when this information was highly diagnostic of underlying traits (Experiment 3). The findings indicate that high-anxious participants show reversed mnemic neglect effects indicating increased access to self-threatening information. The findings suggest that high-anxious individuals do show memory bias for threatening information but only under certain circumstances.