120 adult Russian were asked to recollect 3 negative memories, then split into different groups. Some participants had to imagine positive situations in relation to the memory during a simple conversation or a hypnosis session, while others experienced hypnosis alone.
After three days, the hypnosis-alone group was the only one to exhibit a decrease in anxiety. However, the effect resceded afer 4 months, while participants in the false memory group (imagination during hypnosis) experienced a 30% decrease in anxiety as measure by the Taylor’s Manifest Anxiety Scale.
Researchers hypothesized a link between anxiety and a dysfunctional “positive construction of autobiographical memory”, which refers to a normal mechanism of spontaneous and self-advancing transformation of memories.
Source: Nourkova and Vasilenko (2017)