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Developing Interpretation Bias Modification as a "Cognitive Vaccine" for Depressed Mood: Imagining Positive Events Makes You Feel Better Than Thinking About Them Verbally
Univ Oxford, Dept Psychiat, Oxford OX3 7JX, England.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7319-3112
Univ Oxford, Dept Psychiat, Oxford OX3 7JX, England.
Univ Oxford, Dept Psychiat, Oxford OX3 7JX, England.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Abnormal Psychology, ISSN 0021-843X, E-ISSN 1939-1846, Vol. 118, no 1, p. 76-88Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Two interpretation bias modification experiments found that mental imagery vs. verbal processing of positive material have differential emotional effects. In Experiment 1, participants were instructed to imagine positively resolved auditory descriptions or to listen to the same events while thinking about their verbal meaning. Increases in positive mood and bias were greater in the imagery than in the verbal condition, replicating E. A. Holmes, A. Mathews, T. Dalgleish, and B. Mackintosh (2006). An emotional vulnerability test showed that imagery (relative to the verbal condition) protected against a later negative mood induction. Experiment 2 created 2 new verbal conditions aimed to increase or reduce verbal comparisons. Results suggest making unfavorable comparisons with the highly positive material might be partially responsible for the inferiority of the verbal condition in Experiment 1. The findings demonstrate that imagery can play a key role in cognitive bias modification procedures and thus that task instructions are crucial. Imagining a positive event can make you feel better than thinking about the same event verbally. The authors propose that recruiting imagery will be useful in therapeutic innovations to develop a "cognitive vaccine" for depressed mood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AMER PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOC , 2009. Vol. 118, no 1, p. 76-88
Keywords [en]
mental imagery, depression, positive affect, interpretation, cognitive bias modification
National Category
Applied Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-405521DOI: 10.1037/a0012590ISI: 000263369700009PubMedID: 19222316OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-405521DiVA, id: diva2:1404153
Available from: 2020-02-28 Created: 2020-02-28 Last updated: 2020-02-28

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