Trait anxiety, working memory capacity, and the effectiveness of memory suppression

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Abstract

Trait anxiety, working memory capacity, and the effectiveness of memory suppression. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. We aimed at replicating the finding that humans are able to suppress unwanted memories, and tested whether this ability varies with individual differences in working memory capacity, trait anxiety and defensiveness. In a think/no-think experiment, participants either recalled or suppressed previously learned words for 0, 8 or 16 times. Suppression did not have an overall detrimental effect on later recall performance. However, higher recall rates after repeated suppression were exclusively predicted by higher trait anxiety. These results are discussed in relation to current theories on anxiety and executive control.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-27
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Volume52
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes