Attention and Memory in Repressive Coping Style

  • Author / Creator
    Alston, Lauren L
  • People with a repressive stress coping style have high levels of unacknowledged anxiety. Repressors are thought to show attentional vigilance-avoidance patterns towards threat information, followed by memory reductions. The direct relationships between attention and memory for threat in repressive coping were tested here. Participants (N=107) were subjected to a stress-task. Skin conductance levels and self-reported mood were combined into an ‘autonomic-response discrepancy (ARD) score indicating under-reported physiological stress (repressive coping). Negative and neutral pictures were presented with or without distractors while eye-tracking was recorded, followed by recall/recognition tests. ARD correlated positively with viewing time of all pictures. ARD decreased the memory advantage for negative solitary compared to neutral pictures. For these pictures only, the link between attention and memory increased with increasing ARD. This suggests when attentional avoidance is not possible, repressive coping may co-vary with stronger reliance on visual attention to aid later memory for threat.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Centre for Neuroscience
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Fujiwara, Esther (Psychiatry)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Masuda, Takahiko (Psychology)
    • Wiebe, Sandra (Psychology)
    • Singhal, Anthony (Psychology)