Priming Irrational Beliefs in Recovered-Depressed People
AbstractMajor depression has been linked with endorsement of irrational beliefs in cross-sectional research, consistent with the rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) model. In this study, the authors extended prior research by using multiple measures of irrationality and by comparing never-depressed (ND) controls with people who had recovered from major depression. Contrary to the REBT model, the recovered-depressed (RD) group did not significantly exceed the ND group in irrational beliefs before, during, or after exposure to simulated stressful situations. However, associations between irrationality and negative mood, and to a lesser extent between situation-specific irrationality and personality vulnerabilities, were obtained in the RD group but not in the ND group. These findings are consistent with the possibility that RD persons on average may be especially susceptible to having irrationality primed by negative mood states or by the important setbacks that can lead to such mood states.