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A preliminary investigation of the effect of hypomanic personality on the specificity of autobiographical memory recall.

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Memory
Issue number1
Volume18
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)12-26
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

There is some evidence that patients with bipolar disorder recall more overgeneral than specific autobiographical memories, a pattern widely reported in depression. However, there are also theoretical arguments (Barnard, Watkins, & Ramponi, 2006) suggesting that experiential processing should predominate during mania/hypomania, with an associated prediction of an increase in specific rather than overgeneral memories. This hypothesis was explicitly tested using the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT). The specificity and speed of autobiographical recollection was compared for those with high or low levels of hypomanic personality as indexed by the Hypomanic Personality Scale (HPS). High HPS scorers recalled specific autobiographical memories in response to unpleasant cues more frequently and faster than low scorers. These results provide partial support for the hypothesis, but only for unpleasant cues.