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Cognitive paradigms allow clinical psychologists to examine memory processes, such as false memory production, to better understand psychopathology. The current study uses the Deese–Roediger–McDermott task to investigate true and false memories in a sample with social anxiety disorder (n = 37) compared to a non-anxious control group (n = 40) before and after a three-day delay following list presentation. Additionally, the study examines anticipation of a social stressor and stimuli content (social versus nonsocial) as moderators of memory effects. Contrary to hypotheses, results for true memories showed no effects involving social anxiety or stressor group. However, nonsocial false memories were reported more frequently when participants with social anxiety disorder were anticipating a speech and when control participants were not (the latter at the level of a trend). Notably, when lists were socially relevant, these group differences in false memory disappeared. Results suggest that individuals with social anxiety disorder may be vulnerable to some unexpected memory distortions when anticipating social stress.
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- True and False Memories in Social Anxiety Disorder: Effects of Speech Anticipation and Social Content
Meghan W. Cody
Shari A. Steinman
Bethany A. Teachman
- Springer US