Information Processing in Combat Veterans

The Role of Avoidance
  • Mark Creamer
  • John Kelly
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 291)


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.


Attentional Bias Neutral Word Conscious Awareness Word Type Beck Anxiety Inventory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Creamer
    • 1
  • John Kelly
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MelbourneAustralia

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