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Arch Sex Behav. 2001 Dec;30(6):615-31.

Implicit and explicit memory of neutral, negative emotional, and sexual information.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, New York 14778, USA. sbush@shu.edu


Implicit and explicit memory for sexual, negative emotional, and neutral words using Jacoby's process dissociation framework was investigated. This framework provides estimates of conscious (explicit) and automatic (implicit) influences on memory. We found that explicit memory was greater for the sexual words when compared to negative emotional and neutral words and suggest that these results are due to increased saliency of sexual stimuli. Dividing attention did not decrease explicit memory for sexual words, although it did significantly decrease explicit memory for the negative emotional and neutral words. Finally, females used more previously presented emotional words to complete word stems. The genders did not differ in their recall of previously presented sexual and neutral words. A discussion of possible explanations for the various findings is presented.

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