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Memory. 1996 Jul;4(4):337-57.

Remembering the earthquake: direct experience vs. hearing the news.

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Emory University, Atlanta, USA.


Three groups of informants--two in California, one in Atlanta--recalled their experiences of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake shortly after the event and again 11/2 years later. The Californians' recalls of their own earthquake experiences were virtually perfect. Even their recalls of hearing the news of an earthquake-related event were very good: much higher than Atlantan recalls of hearing about the quake itself. Atlantans who had relatives in the affected area remembered significantly more than those who did not. These data show that personal involvement in the quake led to greatly improved recall, but do not show why. Many Californian informants reported low levels of stress/arousal during the event; arousal ratings were not significantly correlated with recall. The authors suggest that repeated narrative rehearsals may have played an important role.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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