Avoidants often report having a poor memory particularly for peoples names.
An emerging literature has begun to document the cognitive consequences of emotion regulation. A process model of emotion suggests that expressive suppression (conscious efforts to inhibit overt emotion-expressive behavior), should reduce memory for emotional events. Results from recent studies have supported this.
Since people with APD are consistantly tense & anxious and exposed to emotion-eliciting situations but may exhibit little affect due to the fear that showing their emotions will make them vulnerable to rejection or humiliation (Kantor; Millon & Everly), it is likely that emotion-expressive suppression is an almost constant feature.
The literature on social phobia suggests that the phobics are unable to socialy interact because they are so focussed on their internal reactions. Research on avoidant personality disorder also emphasizes that avoidants are engaged in external monitoring of the other person’s reactions as well.
The excessive monitoring by avoidants together with rigorous expressive suppression may use up a large portion of finite psychological resources resulting in a decrease of memory for the details of the unfolding emotion-eliciting situation.