People who suffer a traumatic experience often don't talk about it, and many forget it over time.
"There's this idea, with silence, that if we don't talk about something, it starts fading," says Charles B. Stone of Belgium's Universite Catholique de Louvain, the co-author of a study on the subject.
But that belief isn't necessarily backed up by psychological research-a lot of it comes from a Freudian belief that everyone has deep-seated issues we're repressing and ought to talk about, the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science reports.
The real relationship between silence and memory is much more complicated, Stone says, according to a university statement.
"We are trying to understand how people remember the past in a very basic way," Stone says. He co-authored the study with Alin Coman, Adam D. Brown, Jonathan Koppel of the universities of Pittsburgh, New York and Aarhus (Denmark) and William Hirst of the New School for Social Research.