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Characteristics of self-defining memory in depression vulnerability

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There has been a growing recognition of the role of memory processes in depressive vulnerability, as has been suggested by influential cognitive models of depressive disorders (Teasdale, 1988). In this study recovered depressed (n = 35) and never-depressed (n=49) participants recalled self-defining memories following either a sad or neutral mood induction. In a neutral mood, recovered depressed and never-depressed participants did not differ in terms of the characteristics of the memories that they recalled. However, in a sad mood recovered depressed participants recalled more vivid negative memories and less emotionally intense positive memories than never-depressed participants. This study provides support for aspects of Teasdale's differential activation model and contributes to the growing recognition that depressive disorders involve disturbances in both negative and positive memory processes.
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Keywords: Cognitive vulnerability; Depression; Memory

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Psychology, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Publication date: November 1, 2012

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