Memory bias for faces that are perceived as hostile by crime victims with acute posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The present study tested, and found support for, the hypotheses that crime victims with acute post-traumatic stress disorder have: (1) a general memory impairment for faces; and (ii) a memory bias for faces that they perceive as hostile, even when these faces are not arranged to show any hostile face expressions. It is suggested that crime victims with acute post-traumatic stress disorder perform worse on recognition memory due to impaired concentration, and that they allocate their limited attentional resources to the detection of hostility in others in order to avoid being victimized again. This produces a memory bias for perceived hostility even in relatively innocuous everyday interactions with others, which contributes to maintaining the sense of serious current threat that characterizes post-traumatic stress disorder.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-214
JournalCognitive Behaviour Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003