Differences in frequency judgments of positive and negative words by depressed and nondepressed subjects

Simpson, Malcolm William (1986) Differences in frequency judgments of positive and negative words by depressed and nondepressed subjects. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

It was hypothesized that the frequency judgments of depressed and nondepressed subjects would be differentially affected by the use of affectively laden materials. Forty-eight female university students were selected on the basis of their scores on two standard depression measures so as to form a depressed and a nondepressed group (n = 24 for each group). Frequency judgments were obtained following the procedure of Hasher and Zacks (1979), with two changes: affectively laden adjectives were used as the stimuli, rather than common words, and subjects processed these words in a self-referent task, rather than reading the words aloud. No evidence of an interaction between subjects' level of depression and word affect was found for frequency judgments. The expectation that frequency estimates for neutral-words would not differ between depressed and nondepressed subjects was also rejected. A strong main effect of depression was discovered, resulting in higher frequency judgments for the depressed subjects. The study provides findings that contrast with those of Hasher and Zacks (1979; Experiment 3) and poses some questions as to the automaticity of frequency judgments and the basis on which frequency judgments are made.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7986
Item ID: 7986
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 47-50.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1986
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Depression, Mental; Short-term memory

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