Autobiographical Memory and Chronic Pain

Judith Wright, Stephen Morley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of chronic pain on the recall of autobiographical memories of pain and non-pain events was examined. Eleven chronic pain patients and 11 age- and sex-matched control subjects retrieved autobiographical memories to neutral and pain-related cue words. Patients and controls retrieved equal numbers of memories, but pain subjects retrieved more memories incorporating elements of physical pain. Analysis of the content of these memories revealed that patients and controls recalled equal numbers of memories of themselves and other people in acute pain and that the difference observed was attributable to the pain patients recalling memories of themselves in chronic pain. Memories of pain were recalled significantly faster than non-pain memories. The results are discussed with reference to the possible biasing effects of pain state on memory and the schematic processing of pain memories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-265
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995

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