Relating Individual Differences in Trait-Anxiety to Memory Functioning in Young Children

  • Cheie L
  • Visu-Petra L
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There is extensive evidence indicating cognitive biases at several stages of information processing in high-anxious children. Little research, however, has investigated a potential memory bias toward negative information in high-anxious young children. We studied immediate and delayed verbal recall as well as delayed visual recognition in a sample of high-trait-anxious (HA) and low-trait-anxious (LA) preschoolers (N = 76, mean age = 65 months), using stimuli containing task-irrelevant emotional valence (positive, negative, neutral). The findings revealed that, compared to their LA counterparts, HA preschoolers displayed (1) a tendency to be less accurate in the immediate verbal recall task, (2) poorer recall of negative words in the immediate condition and poorer recall of neutral words in the delayed condition, (3) impaired delayed recognition of identities with happy facial expressions and a tendency to better recognize identities expressing anger. Results are discussed considering the dynamic interplay between personality, emotion and cognitive factors during early development. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

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  • Lavinia Cheie

  • Laura Visu-Petra

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