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Voluntary and involuntary memory biases and responsibility beliefs in obsessive-compulsive prone individuals

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Denomination Maîtrise universitaire en psychologie
Defense Maîtrise : Univ. Genève, 2012
Abstract Based on Salkovskis’ cognitive model (Salkovskis & al., 2000), obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) are characterized by frequent intrusive thoughts and images of past events that are highly appraised in term of personal responsibility. Theoretically, this dysfunctional appraisal leads to different cognitive biases, beside others in memories processes. The current analogue study aims to examine, in a nonclinical sample of 46 young adults, the effect of responsibility beliefs on involuntary as well as voluntary memories of positive and negative events. In an incidental learning phase, participants were presented with 40 sentences describing either a positive or a negative event. The sentences were randomly presented in one out of the two responsibility conditions: “high” (i.e., “I wish that…”) versus “low” (i.e., “Somebody wishes that…”). In the test phase, different memory tasks were presented: an involuntary memory task, a free recall and a recognition task. Results indicated that an implicit encoding of positive and negative events promotes the occurrence of intrusions. Furthermore, our data indicated that self-engaging negative events were more accurately recalled than self-engaging positive events. We also found that negative and positive self-engaging situations were more accurately recognized than non self-engaging situations. As hypothesized, participants showed less confidence in memory when recalling and recognizing the source agency of negative self-engaging situations. In accordance to Salkovskis’ model of OCS, the current study suggests that memory of past events is substantially modulated by the appraisal of personal responsibility. The link between voluntary and involuntary memory, subjective responsibility and OCS will be discussed.
Keywords Obsessive-compulsive symptoms, intrusive thoughts and images, episodic memory, responsibility, adverse events
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Research group Unité de psychologie clinique des émotions et de traumatisme (@ET.Lab)
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ABOU-KHALIL, Wassim. Voluntary and involuntary memory biases and responsibility beliefs in obsessive-compulsive prone individuals. Université de Genève. Maîtrise, 2012. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:24177

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Deposited on : 2012-11-22

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