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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1984 Aug;47(2):427-39.

Construct accessibility and depression: an examination of cognitive and affective factors.

Abstract

Two studies in which the parameters of construct accessibility in depression were examined are reported. In Experiment 1, depressed and nondepressed subjects were required to name the colors of tachistiscopically presented depressed-content, neutral-content, and manic-content words. Because of the predicted accessibility and interference effects of the depressed-content words, the depressed subjects were expected to demonstrate longer response latencies to these words than to the non-depressed-content words. This response pattern was found for the depressed subjects; the nondepressed subjects did not demonstrate differential response latencies. In Experiment 2, a mood-induction paradigm was used to investigate whether the interference effects obtained in Experiment 1 were due to temporary mood differences between the depressed and nondepressed subjects, or were a function of more stable depression-associated patterns of information processing. Although predicted group differences were obtained on a mood adjective checklist, no effects were found for task performance. These results suggest that transient mood is not a sufficient explanation for the results obtained in Experiment 1. The implications of the present findings for the understanding of both construct accessibility and depression are discussed, and directions for future research are suggested.

PMID:
6481620
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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