The Relationship between Autobiographical Self-Focus and Memory Specificity/Overgenerality: Differences between Individuals with and without a Diagnosis of Depression

Authors

  • Michael Bender Tilburg University, the Netherlands Gratia Christian College, Hong Kong
  • María Carrera University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Spain Tilburg University, the Netherlands
  • Itziar Alonso-Arbiol University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4638-085X

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5944/ap.12.2.15783

Keywords:

Autobiographical Memory, Specificity, Depression, Cognitive Complexity

Abstract

Research has revealed that clinical depression is related to reduced specificity and/or overgenerality in autobiographical memory. We set out to investigate this relationship by comparing depressed (n = 40) and non-depressed (n = 40) individuals not only in terms of autobiographical memory specificity/generality, but also in terms of narrative structure. Specificity was assessed with the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT; Williams & Broadbent, 1986) and participants also provided open-ended memories, which were analyzed for autobiographical cognitive complexity (Woike, 1994). Narrative differentiation, as an indicator of self-focus, was negatively related to specificity and positively to overgenerality of particularly negative autobiographical memories – but only in the depressed sample. Relationships were significantly different among non-depressed individuals. Results are discussed in the context of the relation between specificity/overgenerality and self-focus.

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Published

2015-12-16

How to Cite

Bender, M., Carrera, M., & Alonso-Arbiol, I. (2015). The Relationship between Autobiographical Self-Focus and Memory Specificity/Overgenerality: Differences between Individuals with and without a Diagnosis of Depression. Acción Psicológica, 12(2), 109–122. https://doi.org/10.5944/ap.12.2.15783

Issue

Section

Artículos de temática libre [Selection of articles]