Overgeneral autobiographical memory bias in clinical and non-clinical voice hearers

Pamela Jacobsen, Emmanuelle Peters, Thomas Ward, Philippa A Garety, Mike Jackson, Paul Chadwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Hearing voices can be a distressing and disabling experience for some, whilst it is a valued experience for others, so-called 'healthy voice-hearers'. Cognitive models of psychosis highlight the role of memory, appraisal and cognitive biases in determining emotional and behavioural responses to voices. A memory bias potentially associated with distressing voices is the overgeneral memory bias (OGM), namely the tendency to recall a summary of events rather than specific occasions. It may limit access to autobiographical information that could be helpful in re-appraising distressing experiences, including voices.METHODS: We investigated the possible links between OGM and distressing voices in psychosis by comparing three groups: (1) clinical voice-hearers (N = 39), (2) non-clinical voice-hearers (N = 35) and (3) controls without voices (N = 77) on a standard version of the autobiographical memory test (AMT). Clinical and non-clinical voice-hearers also completed a newly adapted version of the task, designed to assess voices-related memories (vAMT).RESULTS: As hypothesised, the clinical group displayed an OGM bias by retrieving fewer specific autobiographical memories on the AMT compared with both the non-clinical and control groups, who did not differ from each other. The clinical group also showed an OGM bias in recall of voice-related memories on the vAMT, compared with the non-clinical group.CONCLUSIONS: Clinical voice-hearers display an OGM bias when compared with non-clinical voice-hearers on both general and voices-specific recall tasks. These findings have implications for the refinement and targeting of psychological interventions for psychosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-120
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Medicine
Volume49
Issue number1
Early online date14 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2019

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Episodic Memory
Psychotic Disorders
Access to Information
Hearing

Keywords

  • Auditory hallucinations
  • autobiographical memory
  • cognitive behavioural therapy
  • psychosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Overgeneral autobiographical memory bias in clinical and non-clinical voice hearers. / Jacobsen, Pamela; Peters, Emmanuelle; Ward, Thomas; Garety, Philippa A; Jackson, Mike; Chadwick, Paul.

In: Psychological Medicine, Vol. 49, No. 1, 31.01.2019, p. 113-120.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jacobsen, Pamela ; Peters, Emmanuelle ; Ward, Thomas ; Garety, Philippa A ; Jackson, Mike ; Chadwick, Paul. / Overgeneral autobiographical memory bias in clinical and non-clinical voice hearers. In: Psychological Medicine. 2019 ; Vol. 49, No. 1. pp. 113-120.
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