Psycholinguistic Means of Traumatic Memory Reorganization


  • Larysa Zasiekina Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University
  • Olga Shevchuk Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University


traumatic memory, propositional analysis, post-traumatic stress disorder, typology of traumatic events


The results of theoretical and empirical study  of traumatic memory are highlighted in the article. The author propositional model of traumatic memory is proposed. The narrative method for propositional structure of respon-dendents’ narratings about traumatic event was used. The typology of traumatic events was revealed. The most frequent elements of propositions in the narratives with traumatic events were defined. Among them there are attitude (37,4 %), external object (23,5 %), external argument (15,1 %), internal argument (15,0 %), time (5,0 %), space (0,5 %) The main factors of traumatic memory reorganization and transforming it into episodic memory were analyzed. Two main directions of traumatic memory reorganization were studied. The first one is connected with making sense for traumatic event during narrating process and giving access to episodic memory and individual wellbeing. The second one is connected with small personal resource for making sense for traumatic event and highly emotional attitude to it which transform experienced traumatic event into post-traumatic stress disorder. The correlation between degree of traumatic memory reorganization and personality traits are revealed. Three types of typical propositional structures in the the narratives with traumatic events were analyzed, among them there are psycholinguistic, episodic and personal. The  correlation  of each  propositional  structure with  individual attitude to traumatic event was described. It was revealed that while narrating the traumatic event individual focused on her/his attitude to it. Moreover, predominance of internal or external argument is connected with the individual complex of guilt and personal responsibility for traumatic event. Different propositional structures for respondents’ with high, middle and low levels of wellbeing were defined. The psycholinguistic peculiarities of narratives with traumatic events were revealed: low number of words, high sentence length, high indices of logical coherence and verbs.

Author Biographies

Larysa Zasiekina, Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University

доктор психологічних наук, професор,завідувачкафедризагальноїтасоціальноїпсихології Східноєвропейського національного університету імені Лесі Українки

Olga Shevchuk, Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University

аспірант кафедри загальної та соціальної психології Східноєвропейського національного  університету імені Лесі Українки


1. Бурлачук Л. Ф. Психология жизненных ситуаций : учеб. пособие / Л. Ф. Бурла- чук, Е. Ю. Коржова. – М. : Рос. пед. агентство, 1998. – 263 с.
Burlachuk L. F. Psychologija zhyznjennych sytuatcij [Psychology of life situations] / L. F. Burlachuk, E. Y. Korzhova. – Moscow : Russian Pedagogical Agency, 1998. – 263 p.
2. Засєкіна Л. В. Психолінгвістична діагностика / Л. В. Засєкіна, С. В. Засєкін. – Луцьк : РВВ«Вежа» Волин. нац. ун-ту ім. Лесі Українки, 2008. – 187 с. Zasjekina L. V. Psycholingvistychna diagnostyka [Psycholinguistic diagnostics] /
L. V. Zasiekina, S. V. Zasiekin. – Lutsk : RVV «Vezha» Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University, 2008. – 187 p.
3. Тарабрина Н. В. Практикум по психологи посттравматического стресса /
Н. В. Тарабрина. – СПб. : Питер, 2001. – 272 с.
Tarabrina N. V. Praktikum po psichologii postravmaticheskogo stressa [Practical recommendations for post-traumatic stress] / N. V.Тarabrina. – SPb. : Peter, 2001. – 272 p.
4. Anderson J. R. Propositional theory of recognition memory / J. R. Anderson, G. H. Bower // Memory and Cognition. – 1974. – Т. 2, №. 3. – P. 406–412.
5. Brown R. Flashbulb memories / R. Brown, J. Kulik // Cognition. – 1977. – Т. 5,
№. 1. – Р. 73–99.
6. Shobe K. K. Is traumatic memory special? / К. К. Shobe, J. F. Kihlstrom // Current Directions in Psychological Science, 1997. – Р. 70–74.
7. Van der Kolk B. A. Dissociation and the fragmentary nature of traumatic memories: Overview and exploratory study / B. A. Van der Kolk, R. Fisler // Journal of Traumatic Stress, 1995. – P. 505–525.



How to Cite

Zasiekina, L., & Shevchuk, O. (2015). Psycholinguistic Means of Traumatic Memory Reorganization. Psychological Prospects Journal, (25), 54–65. Retrieved from