Anxiety and Mood-congruent Autobiographical Memory: A Conceptual Failure to Replicate

Elizabeth A. Levy, Susan Mineka*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This study further explored whether highly anxious participants exhibit a mood-congruent autobiographical memory bias, as was found in two previous studies (Burke & Mathews, 1992; Richards & Whittaker, 1990). The 74 high and low trait anxious participants retrieved personal memories to anxiety-related, neutral, and positive cue words, and were then asked to recall the original cue words. The study also explored how expression of emotional versus factual responses might affect a memory bias. On most dependent measures, no differences were found between anxiety groups. However, low anxious participants recalled more memories overall than high anxious participants. In addition, the emotions groups recalled more words at free recall than the facts groups. Findings fail to support previous studies that found an autobiographical memory bias to be associated with high anxiety, and cast more support for the mounting evidence against a mood-congruent memory bias in anxiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-634
Number of pages10
JournalCognition and Emotion
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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