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06-02-2017 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2017

Cognitive Therapy and Research 4/2017

Decision Justification Theory in Depression: Regret and Self-Blame

Tijdschrift:
Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 4/2017
Auteurs:
Morganne A. Kraines, Cassandra P. Krug, Tony T. Wells

Abstract

Depressed individuals experience more self-blame than healthy individuals. Less is known about how depressed individuals process and display regret. Decision Justification Theory (DJT) proposes two components of decision regret: self-blame for making a bad choice, and comparative evaluation of the outcome. The current study examined DJT in the context of currently, formerly, and never depressed individuals. Sixty-five participants (27 never, 24 formerly, and 14 currently depressed) read two scenarios designed to elicit regret and rated the degree to which they experienced self-blame, comparative evaluation regret, and overall regret. Currently depressed participants demonstrated greater self-blame regret compared to the never depressed group. There were no significant effects of depression status on comparative outcome regret or overall regret. These results suggest that MDD is associated with increased self-blame regret, but not comparative outcome regret. Future research is needed to determine if self-blame is a symptom of MDD or a maintenance factor.

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