Little research has investigated functional relations among attention, interpretation, and memory biases in depressed samples. The present study tested the indirect effect of attention bias on memory through interpretation bias as an intervening variable in a mixed sample of non-depressed and subclinically depressed individuals. Subclinically depressed and non-depressed individuals completed a spatial cueing task (to measure attention bias), followed by a scrambled sentences test (to measure interpretation bias), and an incidental free recall task (to measure memory bias). Bias-corrected bootstrapping yielded evidence for the hypothesised indirect effect model, in that an emotional bias in attention is related to a congruent bias in interpretative choices which are in turn reflected in memory. These findings extend previous research and provide further support for the combined cognitive bias hypothesis in depression. Theoretical and clinical implications of our findings are discussed.
- Cognitive processing
- Combined cognitive bias hypothesis