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An informational pathway to the development of a contamination-related memory bias

Title:

An informational pathway to the development of a contamination-related memory bias

Radomsky, Adam S., Senn, Jessica M., Lahoud, Monique and Gelfand, Laurie A. (2014) An informational pathway to the development of a contamination-related memory bias. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 45 (3). pp. 339-342. ISSN 00057916

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbtep.2014.02.006

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Following from previous work in which post-encoding suggestions of threat led to the development of a memory bias (in the presumed absence of an attentional bias; Senn & Radomsky, 2012), we sought to examine whether the development of a similar threat-relevant memory bias could be fostered via a purely informational pathway.
Methods: A vignette about a classroom interaction was read aloud to (n = 96) undergraduate participants who then completed a post-encoding recall test. Participants were then told that the experimenter forgot to read the last sentence of the vignette, and were then randomly assigned either to the Threat condition, in which the additional statement indicated that a character in the vignette had a highly contagious flu, or to the No-Threat condition, in which the additional statement indicated that a character in the vignette had been accepted to graduate school. A second recall test was then administered.
Results: Participants in the Threat condition (but not those in the No-Threat condition) demonstrated a proportional memory bias in favour of threatening information. This bias was not evident at the initial recall test.
Limitations: Time spent engaging in active recall was not assessed. Also, although the study was designed to minimize demand characteristics, it is possible that these played a role.
Conclusions: An explicit memory bias for threat can be created through informational means alone, even when no threat was present at encoding. Results are discussed in terms of pathways to fear and of cognitive approaches to understanding and treating anxiety disorders.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Radomsky, Adam S. and Senn, Jessica M. and Lahoud, Monique and Gelfand, Laurie A.
Journal or Publication:Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Date:15 March 2014
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.1016/j.jbtep.2014.02.006
Keywords:Memory bias; contamination fear; pathways; onset; OCD
ID Code:978636
Deposited By: ADAM RADOMSKY
Deposited On:09 Jun 2014 14:31
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:47
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