Memory in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Properties of voluntary and involuntary, traumatic and non-traumatic autobiographical memories in people with and without PTSD symptoms

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Article on memory in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the properties of voluntary and involuntary, traumatic and non-traumatic autobiographical memories in people with and without PTSD symptoms.

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43 p.

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Rubin, David C.; Boals, Adriel & Berntsen, Dorthe, 1962- November 2008.

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Article on memory in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the properties of voluntary and involuntary, traumatic and non-traumatic autobiographical memories in people with and without PTSD symptoms.

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43 p.

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Abstract: One-hundred-fifteen undergraduates screened for PTSD symptom severity rated 15 word-cued memories and their 3 most-negatively-stressful, 3 most-positive, and 7 most-important events, and completed tests of personality and depression. Eighty-nine also recorded involuntary memories online for one week. We compared 1) memories of stressful to control events and 2) involuntary to voluntary memories 3) in people high versus low in PTSD symptom severity, providing the first three-way comparisons needed to test existing theories. Stressful versus control memories in all participants and high PTSD symptom severity in all memories produced memories with more emotional intensity and more frequent voluntary and involuntary retrieval, but not more fragmentation. Involuntary memories had more emotional intensity and less centrality to the life story than voluntary memories. Meeting the diagnostic criteria for traumatic events had no effect, the emotional responses to events did. Correlations among measures were replicated and the Negative-Intensity factor of the Affect Intensity Measure correlated with PTSD symptom severity in 533 undergraduates. No special trauma mechanisms were needed to account for the results, which are summarized by the Autobiographical Memory Theory of PTSD.

Copyright © 2013 American Psychological Association, all rights reserved. http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/xge/137/4/591/

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  • Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2008, Washington D.C.: American Psychological Association, pp. 591-614

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  • Publication Title: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General
  • Volume: 137
  • Issue: 4
  • Page Start: 591
  • Page End: 614
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes

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  • November 2008

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  • March 31, 2014, 8:53 a.m.

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  • Jan. 22, 2018, 4:48 p.m.

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Rubin, David C.; Boals, Adriel & Berntsen, Dorthe, 1962-. Memory in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Properties of voluntary and involuntary, traumatic and non-traumatic autobiographical memories in people with and without PTSD symptoms, article, November 2008; [Washington, D.C.]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279704/: accessed December 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.