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Behav Res Ther. 1995 Mar;33(3):305-7.

Memory bias does not generalize across anxiety disorders.

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New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York, USA.


Individuals with social phobia were compared with normal controls on their memory for socially-related threat words in contrast to positive and neutral words. A memory paradigm used in a previous study of panic disorder patients [Cloitre, M. & Liebowitz, M. R. (1991) Cognitive Therapy and Research, 15, 609-619] was applied to test the generalizability of findings of threat-biased memory in a semantic memory task (free recall) and a perceptual memory task (high-speed recognition) to social phobics. No evidence of threat-related memory bias among social phobics was obtained. Since both the social phobic and control groups showed better memory for affectively valenced (threat and positive) compared to neutral information, it is unlikely that the absence of threat-biased memory among social phobics was the result of insensitive measurement.

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