Correlates of overgeneral memories in normal subjects

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This study examined the correlates of overgeneral memories (i.e., non-specific memories) in normal subjects. Subjects were instructed to generate five personal memories in response to positive cue-words and five memories in response to negative cue-words. As predicted, no evidence was found for a positive association between overgeneral memories and level of depression. Neither was there an association between low memory specificity on the one hand and neuroticism and trait anxiety on the other hand. A significant though small correlation was found between hemisphere thinking style and specificity of personal memories. Surprisingly, the direction of this correlation was such that the more subjects relied on a left hemisphere mode of thinking (i.e., analytic and verbal processing), the more overgeneral their memories were. Taken together, the results indicate that in normal samples, depression symptoms, neuroticism or trait anxiety do not represent important correlates of overgeneral memories consistent with their status as trait markers uninfluenced by state factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-115
JournalBehavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996

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