Graduation Year

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Jonathan Rottenberg, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Chad Dube, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Edelyn Verona, Ph.D.

Keywords

affect regulation, cognition, memory accuracy, mindfulness, retrieval

Abstract

The recall of positive autobiographical memories is an effective strategy for improving negative mood among healthy persons, yet individuals with a history of depression often fail to derive emotional benefits. Depressed and depression-vulnerable individuals also exhibit deficits in their autobiographical memory characteristics. Scholars have implicated deficits during autobiographical memory retrieval as a cause of mood repair and memory impairments, however the role of memory encoding has largely been overlooked. The current study manipulated encoding style to examine subsequent effects on mood repair efficacy, memory characteristics, and memory accuracy. Fifty-five formerly depressed and 68 never-depressed participants were assigned to employ either a concrete or natural encoding style while engaging in a positive event staged in the laboratory. After a negative mood induction, participants were given the opportunity to improve their moods by recalling details of the positive event. Results failed to support the hypothesized interaction of depression status and encoding style. Interpretations of the null findings are provided and implications of the study are discussed.

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