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Rubin et al. (Cognit Ther Res 34:35–48, 2010) demonstrated that completing autobiographical memory questionnaires about a very negative event leads to decreases in levels of distress related to that event. However, a limitation of their methodology was that perhaps completing the memory questionnaire about any autobiographical memory could produce the reported effects. In the current study, 238 participants nominated a very negative and a very positive event from their lives. Participants were then randomly assigned to complete autobiographical memory questionnaires about either their nominated negative or nominated positive event. The results generally replicated the pattern reported in Rubin et al. In comparison to participants who completed questionnaires about a positive event, participants who completed the memory questionnaires about their nominated negative event evidenced decreases in emotional reactions and distress levels. Implications for completing autobiographical memory questionnaires about negative events as a possible therapeutic tool are discussed.
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- The Therapeutic Effects of Completing Autobiographical Memory Questionnaires for Positive and Negative Events: An Experimental Approach
Lisa M. Hathaway
David C. Rubin
- Springer US