Optimizing the ingredients for imagery-based interpretation bias modification for depressed mood: is self-generation more effective than imagination alone?
Rohrbacher H., Blackwell SE., Holmes EA., Reinecke A.
Negative interpretation is thought to be crucial in the development and maintenance of depression. Recently developed cognitive bias modification paradigms, intending to change these biases towards a more optimistic interpretation tendency (CBM-I), seem to offer new promising implications for cognitive therapy innovation. This study aimed to increase our knowledge of the underlying mechanisms of action of imagery-based CBM-I in the context of depressed mood. We therefore compared the efficacy of CBM-I requiring participants to imagine standardized positive resolutions to a novel, more active training version that required participants to generate the positive interpretations themselves. Fifty-four participants were randomly allocated to (1) standardized CBM-I, (2) self-generation CBM-I or (3) a control group. Outcome measures included self-report mood measures and a depression-related interpretation bias measure. Both positive training variants significantly increased the tendency to interpret fresh ambiguous material in an optimistic manner. However, only the standardized imagery CBM-I paradigm positively influenced mood.