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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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59. Clinically Relevant Moderators of Mood Congruent False Memory

The factors contributing to false memories in daily life are currently not well understood. The present study evaluated the impact of clinically relevant variables (specifically, recent depressive symptoms and lifetime history of depressive symptoms) on mood-congruent false memory. 210 undergraduate students were recruited on the basis of high versus low self-esteem. The Deese/Roediger/McDermott paradigm was used to assess false memory for words varying in valence. Analyses did not reveal the hypothesized interaction between current affect and word valence (i.e., mood congruent memory; F =0.92, p= 0.34), or an impact of recent depressive symptoms. However, analyses revealed a significant interaction between word valence and lifetime history of depressive symptoms (F =7.0, p= 0.01). These results suggest that individuals with a history of depressive symptoms may have more false memories for negative information than individuals without this history. The clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

Meghan Bauer
State University of New York at Buffalo

John Roberts
State University of New York at Buffalo


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