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Reading: The Effect of Overgeneral Autobiographical Memory Retrieval on Rumination

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Research Article

The Effect of Overgeneral Autobiographical Memory Retrieval on Rumination

Authors:

Filip Raes ,

University of Leuven, BE
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Dirk Hermans,

University of Leuven, BE
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Mark G J Williams,

University of Oxford, GB
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Linda Geypen,

University of Leuven, BE
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Paul Eelen

University of Leuven, BE
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Abstract

From distinct research traditions rumination and overgeneral autobiographical memory retrieval (OGM) have emerged as two vulnerability markers for depression and depressive relapse (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2004; Williams, 2004). Recent research further suggests a causal relation between rumination and OGM (e.g., Watkins & Teasdale, 2001). The present study investigated the inverse relationship, that is, OGM causally influencing ruminative thinking. A scrambled sentences procedure was used to assess the extent to which 112 student participants were engaged in a mental mode consistent with ruminative thinking following either a specific or overgeneral memory retrieval style manipulation. Trait rumination was also assessed prior to the experimental retrieval manipulation, using a self-report scale. It was found that high ruminators, following an overgeneral (as compared to a specific) retrieval style, unscrambled sentences relatively more into sentences with a ruminative meaning. In non or low ruminators this retrieval style manipulation had no such effect. Alongside the findings of Watkins and colleagues (e.g., Watkins & Teasdale, 2001), the present results are consistent with the view of rumination and OGM as two mutually reinforcing vulnerability factors for depression (Williams, 1996, 2004).
How to Cite: Raes, F. et al., (2006). The Effect of Overgeneral Autobiographical Memory Retrieval on Rumination. Psychologica Belgica. 46(1-2), pp.131–141. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb-46-1-2-131
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Published on 01 Mar 2006.
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