Information Processing in Combat Veterans
We investigated threat processing in 27 Vietnam veterans. Participants demonstrated a supraliminal attentional bias towards Vietnam words. At a subliminal level, there was a tendency to avoid the processing of Vietnam-related material. Contrary to expectations, the extent of interference was not related to the level of intrusive symptoms. Rather, it was avoidance symptoms that differentiated response styles to Vietnam-related material. Symptomatic avoidance was correlated positively with supraliminal biases, but negatively with subliminal biases. We propose that avoidance strategies may serve to prevent stimuli presented outside conscious awareness from activating traumatic memories.
KeywordsAttentional Bias Neutral Word Conscious Awareness Word Type Beck Anxiety Inventory
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