Incomplete inhibition of emotion in specific autobiographical memories

Memory. 2007 May;15(4):375-89. doi: 10.1080/09658210701276850.

Abstract

Emotional inhibition in recollection of specific autobiographical memories (Conway & Pleydell-Pearce, 2000) is investigated in two experiments. Less complete emotional inhibition was hypothesised to correspond to a reduced sense of psychological closure. Emotional inhibition was identified by comparing the effect of emotion words relative to lifetime period words as primes. In Experiment 1, emotion words facilitated recognition judgements of descriptions of remembered experiences rated low in closure. In Experiment 2, emotion words facilitated recognition judgements of descriptions of a laboratory experience made lower in closure. A sense of psychological closure may therefore be a prerequisite for strategic emotional inhibition. Implications for adjustment and goal pursuit are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Autobiographies as Topic
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological*
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Mental Processes*
  • Self Concept
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors