Reducing vividness and emotional intensity of recurrent “flashforwards” by taxing working memory: An analogue study
Several studies have found that making eye movements while retrieving visual images about past negative events reduces their vividness and emotional intensity. A working memory account states that eye movements tax working memory and interfere with visual imagery, thus degrading images. This study examined whether eye movements also affect recurrent, intrusive visual images about potential future catastrophes (“flashforwards”) in a sample of female undergraduates who had indicated on a screening-scale that they suffer from such intrusions. They were asked to recall two intrusive images with or without making eye movements. Before and after each condition, participants retrieved the image, and rated its vividness and emotionality. Results showed that vividness of intrusive images was lower after recall with eye movement, relative to recall only, and there was a similar trend for emotionality. Potential implications are discussed.
Original Work Citation
Engelhard, I. M., van den Hout, M. A., Dek, E. C. P., Giele, C. L., van der Wielen, J.-W., Reijnen, M. J., & van Roij, B. (2011, May ). Reducing vividness and emotional intensity of recurrent "flashforwards" by taxing working memory: An analogue study. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 25(4), 599-603. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2011.01.009
“Reducing vividness and emotional intensity of recurrent “flashforwards” by taxing working memory: An analogue study,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 22, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/20755.