Mapping the interplay among cognitive biases, emotion regulation, and depressive symptoms

Jonas Everaert*, Ivan Grahek, Wouter Duyck, Jana Buelens, Nathan Van den Bergh, Ernst H.W. Koster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Cognitive biases and emotion regulation (ER) difficulties have been instrumental in understanding hallmark features of depression. However, little is known about the interplay among these important risk factors to depression. This cross-sectional study investigated how multiple cognitive biases modulate the habitual use of ER processes and how ER habits subsequently regulate depressive symptoms. All participants first executed a computerised version of the scrambled sentences test (interpretation bias measure) while their eye movements were registered (attention bias measure) and then completed questionnaires assessing positive reappraisal, brooding, and depressive symptoms. Path and bootstrapping analyses supported both direct effects of cognitive biases on depressive symptoms and indirect effects via the use of brooding and via the use of reappraisal that was in turn related to the use of brooding. These findings help to formulate a better understanding of how cognitive biases and ER habits interact to maintain depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-735
JournalCognition & Emotion
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention bias
  • brooding
  • depressive symptoms
  • interpretation bias
  • positive reappraisal


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