Individual differences in affect‐related cognitive operations elicited by experimental stimuli

B.H. Dritschel, J.D. Teasdale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Beck's cognitive model of depression suggests the importance of cognitive distortions, such as overgeneralization and personalization, in the aetiology of depression. Larsen, Diener & Cropanzano (1987) developed a method for directly measuring the cognitive operations of overgeneralization and personalization in the reactions of normal subjects to experimentally presented visual stimuli. The present study employed this method to examine the relationship between use of these cognitive operations and the personality dimensions of affect intensity, neuroticism and extraversion. Results showed that high scorers on affect intensity exhibited more evidence of overgeneralization and personalization, replicating Larsen et al.'s (1987) findings, with a similar effect for neuroticism. The results suggest that the persistent differences in response to emotional events measured by the traits of affect intensity and neuroticism may be mediated by particular styles of cognitive processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1991


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