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Recollection of negative information in posttraumatic stress disorder

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Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with the effects of emotional valence on recall processes in recognition memory. Patients suffering from PTSD (n = 15) were compared with 15 nontraumatized patients with anxious and depressive symptoms and with 15 nontraumatized controls on the remember/know paradigm using negative, positive, and neutral words. The PTSD group remembered more negative words than the nontraumatized controls, F(1, 42) = 7.20, p = .01, but there was no difference between those with PTSD and those with anxiety or depression, F(1, 42) = 2.93, p = .09, or between the latter and controls, F(1, 42) < 1. This study did not allow us to determine whether this recollection bias for negative information was specific to the PTSD status or was triggered by the greater level of anxiety displayed in this group.

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