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  Memory suppression and its deficiency in psychological disorders: A focused meta-analysis

Stramaccia, D., Meyer, A.-K., Rischer, K. M., Fawcett, J. M., & Benoit, R. G. (2020). Memory suppression and its deficiency in psychological disorders: A focused meta-analysis. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. doi:10.1037/xge0000971.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-0C32-4 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-E66C-D
Genre: Journal Article

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Stramaccia, Davide1, Author              
Meyer, Ann-Kristin1, Author              
Rischer, Katharina M.2, Author
Fawcett , Jonathan M. 3, Author
Benoit, Roland G.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Research Group Adaptive Memory, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_2295691              
2University of Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, ou_persistent22              
3Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL, Canada, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: It is still debated whether suppressing the retrieval of unwanted memories causes forgetting and whether this constitutes a beneficial mechanism. To shed light on these 2 questions, we scrutinize the evidence for such suppression-induced forgetting (SIF) and examine whether it is deficient in psychological disorders characterized by intrusive thoughts. Specifically, we performed a focused meta-analysis of studies that have used the think/no-think procedure to test SIF in individuals either affected by psychological disorders or exhibiting high scores on related traits. Overall, across 96 effects from 25 studies, we found that avoiding retrieval leads to significant forgetting in healthy individuals, with a small to moderate effect size (0.28, 95% CI [0.14, 0.43]). Importantly, this effect was indeed larger than for more anxious (-0.21, 95% CI [-0.41, -0.02]) or depressed individuals (0.05, 95% CI [-0.19, 0.29])-though estimates for the healthy may be inflated by publication bias. In contrast, individuals with a stronger repressive coping style showed greater SIF (0.42, 95% CI [0.32, 0.52]). Furthermore, moderator analyses revealed that SIF varied with the exact suppression mechanism that participants were instructed to engage. For healthy individuals, the effect sizes were considerably larger when instructions induced specific mechanisms of direct retrieval suppression or thought substitution than when they were unspecific. These results suggest that intact suppression-induced forgetting is a hallmark of psychological well-being, and that inducing more specific suppression mechanisms fosters voluntary forgetting.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020-092020-10-22
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1037/xge0000971
PMID: 33090824
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Title: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Washington : American Psychological Association (PsycARTICLES)
Pages: - Volume / Issue: - Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0096-3445
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925466244