Memory amplification for trauma: Investigating the role of analogue PTSD symptoms in the laboratory

Jacinta Oulton, Melanie Takarangi, Deryn Strange

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Victims of trauma often remember their experience as being more traumatic later, compared to immediately after, the event took place. This finding-the "memory amplification effect"-is associated with increased re-experiencing symptoms. However, the effect has been found almost exclusively in field-based studies. We examined whether the effect could be replicated in the laboratory. In two studies, we exposed participants to negative photographs and assessed their memory for the photographs and analogue PTSD symptoms on two occasions. In Study 1, analogue symptoms at follow-up were positively associated with remembering more negative photos over time. In Study 2, we focused on "memory amplifiers": people whose memory of the photos amplified over time. Consistent with field research, analogue re-experiencing symptoms were associated with memory amplification. Overall, our findings confirm that analogue PTSD symptoms are also associated with an amplified memory for a trauma analogue.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)60-70
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
    Volume42
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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