Motivated Forgetting Mediated by Implicit Verbal Chaining: A Laboratory Analog of Repression

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Science  27 Oct 1967:
Vol. 158, Issue 3800, pp. 517-519
DOI: 10.1126/science.158.3800.517


After learning an A-B paired-associates list, college students read a list of D words, several of which were consistently accompanied by unavoidable electric shock. The D words were members of implicit B-C, C-D chains, inferred from published word-association norms. In a subsequent recall test of the original A-B list, the B words that were implicitly associated with the shocked D words were forgotten significantly more often than control words.