Repression and response bias during an affective memory recognition task

Penelope J. Davis, Jerome L. Singer, George A. Bonanno, Gary E. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Theoretical conceptualisations of repression lead to the prediction that individuals who characteristically use repression as a defensive strategy should be less able to recall personal, real‐life experiences associated with negative affect. Results of recent research are consistent with this prediction. It is possible, however, that these results may simply reflect the effects of a conservative response bias by repressors. In the present study we used the signal detection paradigm to address this possibility. Repressors, operationally defined by a pattern of self‐reported low anxiety and high defensiveness, showed a similar response bias (beta) to that of non‐repressors during an affective memory recognition task. The results thus indicate that repressors do not adopt a more stringent, conservative criterion when responding to affective memory tasks. 1988 Australian Psychological Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-157
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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