Manipulating recall vantage perspective of intrusive memories in dysphoria

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Abstract
The current study attempted to experimentally manipulate mode of recall (field, observer perspective) in a sample of mildly dysphoric participants (N = 134) who reported a distressing intrusive memory of negative autobiographical event. Specifically, the current study sought to ascertain whether shifting participants into a converse perspective would have differential effects on the reported experience of their memory. Results indicated that shifting participants from a field to an observer perspective resulted in decreased experiential ratings; specifically, reduced distress and vividness. Also, as anticipated, the converse shift in perspective (from observer to field) did not lead to a corresponding increase in experiential ratings, but did result in reduced ratings of observation and a trend was observed for decreased levels of detachment. The findings support the notion that recall perspective has a functional role in the regulation of intrusion-related distress and represents a cognitive avoidance mechanism.
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Williams, Alishia
Moulds, Michelle
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Publication Year
2008
Resource Type
Journal Article
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UNSW Faculty
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