Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst

Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst
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ISSN: 2167-1044


Cognitive Reactivity to a Depressive Mood Induction Procedure Across Diagnostic Categories

Martin C. Scherrer, Keith S. Dobson

The concepts of cognitive vulnerability and cognitive reactivity are central to cognitive models of depression. These concepts have been extensively examined using mood priming methodology. Research has largely examined cognitive reactivity in individuals theoretically vulnerable to depression and based on self-reported dysfunctional attitudes as a primary index of cognitive vulnerability. The current research was designed to expand the examination of cognitive reactivity through mood priming methodology with regard to assessment of cognitive reactivity and clinical populations examined. This study examined the specificity of cognitive reactivity in the form of self-reported automatic thoughts, dysfunctional attitudes, and rumination to individuals with a history of depression compared to a clinical control group of currently anxious participants and a control sample. The primary results indicated specificity in cognitive reactivity, in the form of increased dysfunctional attitudes and rumination for only the previously depressed participants. These results extend previous research by suggesting specificity of cognitive reactivity in depression compared not only to a nonclinical control sample, which is typically employed in mood priming research, but also compared to a clinical control population. These results are discussed in the context of cognitive models of depression, as are their implications for future theory and research.