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Alternative explanations for depression-related changes in thinking were examined. Forty-one depressed patients and 40 controls completed sentence stems involving social approval or personal achievement such as "If I could always be right then others would __ me." The view that depressive thinking primarily reflects a generalized increase in accessibility of negative constructs predicts patients will give more negative completions (e.g., "dislike"). Alternatively, depression could affect the interrelationships between constructs: Use in depression of schematic mental models implying closer dependence of personal worth--acceptance on success--approval predicts patients may give more positive completions (e.g., "like"). Results supported the latter prediction and suggest that depressive thinking reflects changes in high-level mental models used to interpret experience.

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Abnorm Psychol

Publication Date

08/1995

Volume

104

Pages

500 - 507

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Depressive Disorder, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Thinking