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postgraduate thesis: The effect of rumination state on working memory

TitleThe effect of rumination state on working memory
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Lau, S. [劉兆鋒]. (2014). The effect of rumination state on working memory. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5394120
AbstractRumination is known as compulsive and recurrent self-focused thoughts concerning symptoms, causes and consequences of personal distress. Previous research suggested that the habitual use of rumination in daily life, especially among depressed patients, was related to working memory impairment. Here we examined how induced rumination affects the functioning of working memory. In our experiment, participants were randomly assigned to go through either rumination or distraction induction procedures. Then, they were assessed by a computer task in which they were asked to sort three words in either forward or backward order. The three words were either of negative or neutral valence. Accuracy and response latency were recorded to estimate the functioning of their working memory. To examine the pure impact of state rumination on working memory, we recruited participants from healthy population in experiment 1. Recruiting non-depressed people helps isolate rumination from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) so that the effect of rumination state can be explored in the absence of the mood problems and cognitive deficits related to MDD. The relationship between trait rumination and working memory performance among non‐depressed people was also reviewed. It was found that participants’ accuracy in sorting negative words was lower than neutral words in forward sorting trials after rumination induction. This performance pattern was not observed in distraction group, implicating that rumination caused an increased difficulty for non‐depressed people to encode negative information when they were ruminating. In experiment 2, we aimed at investigating the working memory performance when depressed patients were ruminating. Depressed patients and matched healthy control were recruited to go through the same experimental procedures as in experiment 1. An elevated accuracy for negative words and an improved performance, in terms of higher accuracy and lower response latency, for forward sorting trials after rumination induction were observed. The finding suggested that state rumination caused depressed patients’ working memory to be more prepared to encode information, especially negative one. The results demonstrated that the impact of rumination state on working memory is consistent with the principle of cognitive congruency. Information that is congruent with the self‐related representation tends to have preferential access to the working memory. Implication of our findings on MDD would be discussed in the light of the observed influence of rumination on working memory functioning.
DegreeMaster of Social Sciences
SubjectShort-term memory
Rumination - Psychological aspects
Dept/ProgramClinical Psychology
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/209558

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLau, Siu-fung-
dc.contributor.author劉兆鋒-
dc.date.accessioned2015-04-24T23:10:23Z-
dc.date.available2015-04-24T23:10:23Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationLau, S. [劉兆鋒]. (2014). The effect of rumination state on working memory. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5394120-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/209558-
dc.description.abstractRumination is known as compulsive and recurrent self-focused thoughts concerning symptoms, causes and consequences of personal distress. Previous research suggested that the habitual use of rumination in daily life, especially among depressed patients, was related to working memory impairment. Here we examined how induced rumination affects the functioning of working memory. In our experiment, participants were randomly assigned to go through either rumination or distraction induction procedures. Then, they were assessed by a computer task in which they were asked to sort three words in either forward or backward order. The three words were either of negative or neutral valence. Accuracy and response latency were recorded to estimate the functioning of their working memory. To examine the pure impact of state rumination on working memory, we recruited participants from healthy population in experiment 1. Recruiting non-depressed people helps isolate rumination from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) so that the effect of rumination state can be explored in the absence of the mood problems and cognitive deficits related to MDD. The relationship between trait rumination and working memory performance among non‐depressed people was also reviewed. It was found that participants’ accuracy in sorting negative words was lower than neutral words in forward sorting trials after rumination induction. This performance pattern was not observed in distraction group, implicating that rumination caused an increased difficulty for non‐depressed people to encode negative information when they were ruminating. In experiment 2, we aimed at investigating the working memory performance when depressed patients were ruminating. Depressed patients and matched healthy control were recruited to go through the same experimental procedures as in experiment 1. An elevated accuracy for negative words and an improved performance, in terms of higher accuracy and lower response latency, for forward sorting trials after rumination induction were observed. The finding suggested that state rumination caused depressed patients’ working memory to be more prepared to encode information, especially negative one. The results demonstrated that the impact of rumination state on working memory is consistent with the principle of cognitive congruency. Information that is congruent with the self‐related representation tends to have preferential access to the working memory. Implication of our findings on MDD would be discussed in the light of the observed influence of rumination on working memory functioning.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshShort-term memory-
dc.subject.lcshRumination - Psychological aspects-
dc.titleThe effect of rumination state on working memory-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5394120-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Social Sciences-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineClinical Psychology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5394120-

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