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The contribution of trait negative affect and stress to recall for bodily states
- Ma-Kellams, Christine, Lai, Lei, Taylor, Shelley E., Lerner, Jennifer S.
- Physiology & behavior 2016 v.167 pp. 274-281
- heart rate, memory, psychological stress
- How does trait negative affect shape somatic memory of stressful events? We hypothesized that negative affect would impair accurate recall of one's own heart rate during stressful situations. Two bio-behavioral studies used a new paradigm to test retrospective visceral perception and assessed whether negative affective states experienced during aversive events (i.e., the Trier Stress Task—Time 1) would retrospectively shape recall of past heart rate (Time 2), even when accounting for actual heart rate at the time of each stressful event (Time 1). Results across both studies showed that individual differences in negative affect in response to a stressful task predicted visceral recollections, and those who experienced more negative affect were more inaccurate. Negative affect was associated with a tendency to remember visceral reactions as worse than they actually were.