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There is ample research demonstrating that biases in cognitive processes, such as a negative interpretation bias, rumination, and overgeneral autobiographical memory, are potential vulnerability factors for depression. However, a key limitation is that most studies conducted so far have studied cognitive biases in depression in isolation. Therefore the goal was to explore whether or not interpretation bias, overgeneral autobiographical memory, and rumination are present and interrelated in depressive outpatients. In this explorative study they examined the relationship between negative interpretation bias, rumination, overgeneral autobiographical memory, and severity of depression in clinically depressed outpatients. According to our expectations a negative interpretation bias and rumination were associated with severity of depression. Moreover, overgeneral autobiographical memory was not associated with severity of depression, but seemed to be associated with diagnosis of depression. A negative interpretation bias, overgeneral autobiographical memory, and rumination were not significantly related with each other in this study. This finding suggests they are not strongly related and might be largely distinct vulnerability factors for depression. The study presents an important yet preliminary finding which warrants further replication with a larger sample size.
Last date updated on July, 2014