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Differential predictions about future negative events in seasonal and non-seasonal depression

  • T. Dalgleish (a1), A.-M. J. Golden (a1), J. Yiend (a2) and B. D. Dunn (a1)
Abstract
Background

Previous research indicates that individuals with seasonal depression (SD) do not exhibit the memory biases for negative self-referent information that characterize non-seasonal depression (NSD). The current study extended this work by examining processing of self-referent emotional information concerning potential future events in SD.

Method

SD and NSD patients, along with never-depressed controls, completed a scenario-based measure of likelihood estimation for future positive and negative events happening either to the self or to another person.

Results

SD patients estimated future negative events as more likely to happen to both the self and others, relative to controls. In contrast, in the NSD sample this bias was specific to self-referred material. There were no group differences for positive events.

Conclusions

These data provide further evidence that the self-referent bias for processing negative information that characterizes NSD can be absent in SD, this time in the domain of future event processing.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: Dr T. Dalgleish, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge CB2 7EF, UK. (Email: tim.dalgleish@mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk)
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Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
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