ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 3, Issue 2, 310-321, 2012
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To Think Or Not To Think About Trauma? An Experimental Investigation into Unconscious Thought and Intrusion Development

Julie Krans (a) and Maarten W. Bos (b)
(a) School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
(b) Negotiation, Organizations & Markets, Harvard Business School, Boston, USA

Volume 3, Issue 2, 2012, Pages 310-321

The present study tested whether unconscious thought (versus conscious thought) would reduce frequency of intrusions from an analogue trauma film. Participants viewed a distressing film and were subsequently instructed to think about the film deliberately (conscious thought), to perform a demanding task while knowing that the film information was important later on the experiment (unconscious thought), or to perform the task while believing the experiment had ended (control condition). Afterwards, sequence memory and intrusions of the film were measured. In line with predictions, the results showed significant lower intrusion frequency in the unconscious thought condition compared to both conscious thought and mere distraction. As there were no differences in sequence memory for the film, it remains unclear what mechanism was responsible for this effect. These results encourage further research into a new and exciting area.

Table of Contents
 Experimental manipulation
  Aversive film.
  Individual differences.
  Emotional impact.
  Sequence memory.
  Intrusion frequency
  Compliance and demand.
 Outliers and statistical approach
 Compliance and demand
 Randomisation check
 Manipulation check
 Experimental effects
  Intrusion frequency.
  Sequence memory.

Correspondence to
Dr. Julie Krans; School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia.

Intrusions, analogue trauma, Unconscious Thought Theory, experimental psychopathology, PTSD

Received 21 Feb 2011; Revised 1 Jun 2011; Accepted 22 Sep 2011; In Press 23 Apr 2012

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