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Title: Does "hot cognition" mediate the relationship between dysfunctional attitudes (cold cognition) and depression?
Author: Palmer, Christina F.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 0044
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2015
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Objective: Whilst the finding of a relationship between negative cognition and depression appears to be fairly robust, the types of cognition which are most relevant to depression are a source of debate. Much of the research generated has explored cognitions based on the Beckian (1967, 1983) cognitive model of depression, such as dysfunctional attitudes, which represent ‘cold’ cognition. Despite the relationship between dysfunctional attitudes and depression being well supported by the research, there is an argument that ‘hot’ cognitions are more closely related. Appraisals, which represent hot cognitions, are differentiated from cold, on the basis of the affect (heat) that they generate. This study aims to add to the empirical data exploring the relationship between different types of cognition and depression by testing whether hot cognition mediates the relationship between dysfunctional attitudes (cold cognition) and depression. Method: This study utilised a cross-sectional design. Data was collected from 171 participants aged between 18 and 71 recruited via generic social networking sites and online depression forums using an online questionnaire. The degrees to which participants endorsed a dysfunctional attitude were measured, as were negative affective experiences and negative appraisals associated with the dysfunctional attitude. Self-report symptoms of depression were also measured and demographic data collected. Results: Based on the mediation models tested, the findings indicated that negative affect mediated the relationship between strength of belief in dysfunctional attitudes (cold cognition) and depression, and negative appraisals mediated the relationship between dysfunctional attitudes and affect. Conclusions: This study provides some support for the theory that the effect that cold cognition (dysfunctional attitudes) has on depression is via hot cognition (appraisals). In view of the findings, further research in this area may be warranted.
Supervisor: Morison, Linda; Spendelow, Jason Sponsor: University of Surrey
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available