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13-05-2017 | Original Article | Uitgave 6/2017

Cognitive Therapy and Research 6/2017

Disentangling the Interplay Among Cognitive Biases: Evidence of Combined Effects of Attention, Interpretation and Autobiographical Memory in Depression

Tijdschrift:
Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 6/2017
Auteurs:
Alvaro Sanchez, Almudena Duque, Nuria Romero, Carmelo Vazquez

Abstract

Previous research has found that cognitive biases in attention, interpretation, and memory play an important role in depression. However, there is little knowledge of the interplay between these biases in clinical depression. The present study was aimed to model different pathways of relation among attention, interpretation and autobiographical memory biases, and to examine their contribution to account for depression status outcomes. Cognitive biases were evaluated in a sample comprising 22 currently-depressed and 36 never-depressed individuals representing a broad range of depression severity levels. Cognitive biases were assessed by three separate tasks using different types of stimuli. Our main finding was a significant indirect effect model in which attention bias to negative faces was linked to greater negative memory bias via its association with negative interpretation bias. Within this model, the specific pathway between attention bias to negative faces and negative interpretation bias accounted both for significant variance in depression severity as well as for depression diagnostic status. These findings increase our understanding of the complex interplay between cognitive mechanisms involved in clinical depression and highlight hypothetical pathways relevant for future interventions.

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