In addition to repression, two related sampling artifacts may contribute to clinical impressions of a temporal gradient of retrograde amnesia. Memory for events immediately before the trauma is likely to be sampled in class intervals of time which are shorter than those used for memory for earlier events. For example, an S with a seriously impaired memory will have many more opportunities to recall some major events from the whole previous day before the fateful one, than from the 15 min. before the traumatic incident. Furthermore, when questioning (e.g., before and after ECS treatments) covers memories from a period of many days or years, the earlier remembered events are likely to be more highly selected for resistance to forgetting than the later ones.
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