Implicit Depression and Hopelessness in Remitted Depressed Individuals

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Implicit Depression and Hopelessness in Remitted Depressed Individuals

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Title: Implicit Depression and Hopelessness in Remitted Depressed Individuals
Author: Holmes, Avram; Pizzagalli, Diego; Steele, Katherine T.; Deveney, Christen M.; Meites, Tiffany M.

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Citation: Meites, Tiffany M., Christen M. Deveney, Katherine T. Steele, Avram J. Holmes, and Diego A. Pizzagalli. 2008. Implicit depression and hopelessness in remitted depressed individuals. Behaviour Research and Therapy 46, no. 9: 1078-1084.
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Abstract: Cognitive theories of depression posit that automatically activated cognitive schemas, including negative thoughts about the self and the future, predispose individuals to develop depressive disorders. However, prior research has largely examined these constructs using explicit tests in currently depressed individuals. Using the Implicit Association Test (IAT), the present study examined automatic associations between the self and mood state ("depression IAT") and between the future and mood state ("hopelessness IAT") before and after a negative mood induction in 19 remitted depressed individuals and 23 healthy controls. In the depression IAT, remitted depressed participants exhibited an overall lower tendency to associate themselves with happiness relative to the healthy controls before the mood induction. Control, but not remitted depressed, participants' automatic associations between the self and happiness diminished following the mood induction. Contrary to our hypotheses, no significant findings emerged when considering the hopelessness IAT. Consistent with prior studies, no significant correlations emerged between implicit and explicit biases, suggesting that these measures probe different processes. Results extend prior IAT research by documenting the presence of a reduced tendency to associate the self with happiness in a sample at increased risk for depression.
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