The coherence of memories for trauma: evidence from posttraumatic stress disorder.
Participants with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and participants with a trauma but without PTSD wrote narratives of their trauma and, for comparison, of the most-important and the happiest events that occurred within a year of their trauma. They then rated these three events on coherence. Based on participants' self-ratings and on naïve-observer scorings of the participants' narratives, memories of traumas were not more incoherent than the comparison memories in participants in general or in participants with PTSD. This study comprehensively assesses narrative coherence using a full two (PTSD or not) by two (traumatic event or not) design. The results are counter to most prevalent theoretical views of memory for trauma.