Misremembrance of things past: depression is associated with difficulties in the recollection of both specific and categoric autobiographical memories

Caitlin Hitchcock, Evangeline Rodrigues, Catrin Rees, Siobhan Gormley, Barbara Dritschel, Tim Dalgleish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Impaired retrieval of specific, autobiographical memories of personally experienced events is characteristic of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, findings in subclinical samples suggest that the reduced specificity phenomenon may reflect a broader impairment in the deliberate retrieval of all autobiographical memory types. This experiment (N=68) explored this possibility by requiring individuals with and without MDD to complete a cued-recall task which required retrieval of specific, single-incident memories to a block of cues, retrieval of categoric, general memories to a block of cues, and to alternate between retrieval of specific and general memories for a block of cues. Results demonstrated that relative to never-depressed controls, individuals with MDD experience reduced recall of both specific (d=0.48) and general memories (d=1.00), along with reduced flexibility in alternating between specific and general memories (d=0.90). Findings support further development of autobiographical memory-based interventions which target a range of retrieval deficits, rather than specificity alone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-700
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Psychological Science
Volume7
Issue number4
Early online date28 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Assessment and intervention
  • Autobiographical memory
  • Depression
  • Open data
  • Open materials

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