Misremembrance of things past : depression is associated with difficulties in the recollection of both specific and categoric autobiographical memories
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Impaired retrieval of specific, autobiographical memories of personally experienced events is characteristic of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, findings in subclinical samples suggest that the reduced specificity phenomenon may reflect a broader impairment in the deliberate retrieval of all autobiographical memory types. This experiment (N=68) explored this possibility by requiring individuals with and without MDD to complete a cued-recall task which required retrieval of specific, single-incident memories to a block of cues, retrieval of categoric, general memories to a block of cues, and to alternate between retrieval of specific and general memories for a block of cues. Results demonstrated that relative to never-depressed controls, individuals with MDD experience reduced recall of both specific (d=0.48) and general memories (d=1.00), along with reduced flexibility in alternating between specific and general memories (d=0.90). Findings support further development of autobiographical memory-based interventions which target a range of retrieval deficits, rather than specificity alone.
Hitchcock , C , Rodrigues , E , Rees , C , Gormley , S , Dritschel , B & Dalgleish , T 2019 , ' Misremembrance of things past : depression is associated with difficulties in the recollection of both specific and categoric autobiographical memories ' Clinical Psychological Science , vol. 7 , no. 4 , pp. 693-700 . https://doi.org/10.1177/2167702619826967
Clinical Psychological Science
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DescriptionFunding was provided by the UK Medical Research Council.
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