Training the forgetting of negative words: The role of direct suppression and the relation to stress reactivity

Joelle LeMoult, Paula T. Hertel, Jutta Joormann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent research has demonstrated that people can be trained to forget negative material. This experiment assessed the possible benefit of direct suppression in addition to the benefit of thought substitutes (indirect suppression) on subsequent attempts to recall words. We also investigated the association between recall following suppression training and subsequent responses to an acute laboratory stressor. After learning cue-target word pairs, participants completed a training phase in which they practiced suppressing targets and recalling substitutes or simply recalling substitutes with no instruction to suppress. Our results show similar effects of suppression condition on forgetting. Importantly, however, the absence of direct suppression predicted mood change in response to a subsequently presented laboratory stressor. These results suggest that direct suppression is not necessary for forgetting to occur, but it seems to protect against negative emotional consequences of interference-induced forgetting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-375
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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