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November 1976

Stress Films, Emotion, and Cognitive Response

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1976;33(11):1339-1344. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1976.01770110067006

• The clinical theory of the repetition compulsion is sometimes taken to mean that neurotic persons, when traumatized, will develop compulsive repetitions of the trauma. Our experiment suggests that there is a more general effect—that various types of persons, after a variety of stressful events, will tend to develop intrusive and stimulus-repetitive thought; the stress itself does not necessarily have to have a negative valence. Equivalent effects were noted after stimuli that aroused positive emotions and after those stimuli that aroused dysphoric affects.