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Acción Psicológica

On-line version ISSN 2255-1271Print version ISSN 1578-908X


BENDER, Michael; CARRERA, María  and  ALONSO-ARBIOL, Itxiar. The Relationship between Autobiographical Self-Focus and Memory Specificity/Overgenerality: differences between Individuals with and without a Diagnosis of Depression. Acción psicol. [online]. 2015, vol.12, n.2, pp.109-122. ISSN 2255-1271.

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.

Keywords : autobiographical memory; specificity; depression; cognitive complexity.

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