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Thinking Disorder in Depression: Logic and Strategy in an Abstract Reasoning Task

Thinking Disorder in Depression: Logic and Strategy in an Abstract Reasoning Task Abstract • This experiment demonstrated abstract reasoning deficits in depressed patients and detailed some of the components of cognition that may determine such deficits. Subjects were given a discrimination learning problem in which possible solutions had to be formulated and tested against new information. Depressed subjects performed more poorly on the task than controls. Two types of errors—inability to narrow down the set of possible solutions (poor "focusing") and perseveration on disconfirmed hypotheses—hampered the performance of depressed but not control subjects. While logic, memory, and attention were intact at an elementary level, the inability to coordinate these functions in a complex task appeared to be an important feature of the depressive impairment. References 1. Weingartner H, Silberman EK: Models of cognitive impairment: Cognitive changes in depression . Psychopharmacol Bull 1982;18:27-42. 2. Abramson LY, Seligman MEP, Teasdale JD: Learned helplessness in humans: Critique and reformulation . J Abnorm Psychol 1978;87:44-74. 3. Beck AT: Depression: Clinical, Experimental, and Theoretical Aspects . Hagerstown, Md, Harper & Row Publishers Inc, 1967. 4. Bandura A: Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change . Psychol Rev 1977;84:191-215.Crossref 5. Garber J, Hollon SD: Universal versus personal helplessness in depression: Belief in uncontrollability or incompetence? J Abnorm Psychol 1980;89:56-66.Crossref 6. Gotlib IH, Asarnow RF: Interpersonal and impersonal problem solving skills in mildly and clinically depressed university students . J Consult Clin Psychol 1979;47:86-95.Crossref 7. Braff DL, Beck AT: Thinking disorder in depression . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1974;31:456-459.Crossref 8. Savard RJ, Rey AC, Post RM: Halstead-Reitan category test in bipolar and unipolar affective illness: Relationship to age and phase of illness . J Nerv Ment Dis 1980;168:297-304.Crossref 9. Levene M: Hypothesis behavior by humans during discrimination learning . J Exp Psychol 1966;71:331-338.Crossref 10. Bunney WE Jr, Hamburg DA: Methods for reliable longitudinal observation of behavior . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1963;9:280-294.Crossref 11. Gholson B, Levene M, Phillips S: Hypotheses, strategies, and stereotypes in discrimination learning . J Exp Child Psychol 1972;13:423-446.Crossref 12. Eimas P: Effects of memory aids on hypothesis behavior and focusing in young children and adults . J Exp Child Psychol 1970;10:319-336.Crossref 13. Rausch R: Cognitive strategies in patients with unilateral temporal lobe excisions . Neuropsychologia 1977;15:385-395.Crossref 14. Oscar-Berman M: Hypothesis testing and focusing behavior during concept formation by amnesic Korsakoff patients . Neuropsychologia 1973; 11:191-198.Crossref 15. Rochford J, Swartzburg M, Chaudhery SM, et al: Some quantitative EEG correlates of psychopathology . Res Commun Psychol Psychiatry Behav 1976;1:211-226. 16. Roemer RA, Shagass C, Straumanis JJ: Pattern evoked potential measurements suggesting lateralized hemispheric dysfunction in chronic schizophrenics . Biol Psychiatry 1978;13:185-202. 17. Buchsbaum MS, Carpenter WT Jr, Fedio P: Hemispheric differences in evoked potential enhancement by selective attention to hemiretinally presented stimuli in schizophrenic, affective, and post temporal lobectomy patients , in Gruzelier WH, Flor-Henry P (eds): Hemispheric Assymetries of Functions in Psychopathology . New York, Elsevier North Holland Inc, 1979. 18. Yozawitz A, Bruder G, Sutton S, et al: Dichotic perception: Evidence for right hemisphere dysfunction in affective psychosis . Br J Psychiatry 1979;135:224-237.Crossref 19. Cohler BJ, Grurebaum HV, Weiss JL, et al: Disturbances of attention among schizophrenic, depressed, and well mothers and their young children . J Child Psychol Psychiatry 1977;18:115-135.Crossref 20. Hemsley DR, Zanadu SL: 'Filtering' and the cognitive deficit in schizophrenia . Br J Psychiatry 1976;28:456-461.Crossref 21. Spring BJ: Shift of attention in schizophrenics, siblings of schizophrenics, and depressed patients . J Nerv Ment Dis 1980;168:133-140.Crossref 22. Weingartner H, Cohen RM, Murphy DL: Cognitive processes in depression . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1981;38:42-47.Crossref 23. Kovacs M, Beck AT: Maladaptive cognitive structures in depression . Am J Psychiatry 1978;135:525-533. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of General Psychiatry American Medical Association

Thinking Disorder in Depression: Logic and Strategy in an Abstract Reasoning Task

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1983 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-990X
eISSN
1598-3636
DOI
10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790060073009
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract • This experiment demonstrated abstract reasoning deficits in depressed patients and detailed some of the components of cognition that may determine such deficits. Subjects were given a discrimination learning problem in which possible solutions had to be formulated and tested against new information. Depressed subjects performed more poorly on the task than controls. Two types of errors—inability to narrow down the set of possible solutions (poor "focusing") and perseveration on disconfirmed hypotheses—hampered the performance of depressed but not control subjects. While logic, memory, and attention were intact at an elementary level, the inability to coordinate these functions in a complex task appeared to be an important feature of the depressive impairment. References 1. Weingartner H, Silberman EK: Models of cognitive impairment: Cognitive changes in depression . Psychopharmacol Bull 1982;18:27-42. 2. Abramson LY, Seligman MEP, Teasdale JD: Learned helplessness in humans: Critique and reformulation . J Abnorm Psychol 1978;87:44-74. 3. Beck AT: Depression: Clinical, Experimental, and Theoretical Aspects . Hagerstown, Md, Harper & Row Publishers Inc, 1967. 4. Bandura A: Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change . Psychol Rev 1977;84:191-215.Crossref 5. Garber J, Hollon SD: Universal versus personal helplessness in depression: Belief in uncontrollability or incompetence? J Abnorm Psychol 1980;89:56-66.Crossref 6. Gotlib IH, Asarnow RF: Interpersonal and impersonal problem solving skills in mildly and clinically depressed university students . J Consult Clin Psychol 1979;47:86-95.Crossref 7. Braff DL, Beck AT: Thinking disorder in depression . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1974;31:456-459.Crossref 8. Savard RJ, Rey AC, Post RM: Halstead-Reitan category test in bipolar and unipolar affective illness: Relationship to age and phase of illness . J Nerv Ment Dis 1980;168:297-304.Crossref 9. Levene M: Hypothesis behavior by humans during discrimination learning . J Exp Psychol 1966;71:331-338.Crossref 10. Bunney WE Jr, Hamburg DA: Methods for reliable longitudinal observation of behavior . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1963;9:280-294.Crossref 11. Gholson B, Levene M, Phillips S: Hypotheses, strategies, and stereotypes in discrimination learning . J Exp Child Psychol 1972;13:423-446.Crossref 12. Eimas P: Effects of memory aids on hypothesis behavior and focusing in young children and adults . J Exp Child Psychol 1970;10:319-336.Crossref 13. Rausch R: Cognitive strategies in patients with unilateral temporal lobe excisions . Neuropsychologia 1977;15:385-395.Crossref 14. Oscar-Berman M: Hypothesis testing and focusing behavior during concept formation by amnesic Korsakoff patients . Neuropsychologia 1973; 11:191-198.Crossref 15. Rochford J, Swartzburg M, Chaudhery SM, et al: Some quantitative EEG correlates of psychopathology . Res Commun Psychol Psychiatry Behav 1976;1:211-226. 16. Roemer RA, Shagass C, Straumanis JJ: Pattern evoked potential measurements suggesting lateralized hemispheric dysfunction in chronic schizophrenics . Biol Psychiatry 1978;13:185-202. 17. Buchsbaum MS, Carpenter WT Jr, Fedio P: Hemispheric differences in evoked potential enhancement by selective attention to hemiretinally presented stimuli in schizophrenic, affective, and post temporal lobectomy patients , in Gruzelier WH, Flor-Henry P (eds): Hemispheric Assymetries of Functions in Psychopathology . New York, Elsevier North Holland Inc, 1979. 18. Yozawitz A, Bruder G, Sutton S, et al: Dichotic perception: Evidence for right hemisphere dysfunction in affective psychosis . Br J Psychiatry 1979;135:224-237.Crossref 19. Cohler BJ, Grurebaum HV, Weiss JL, et al: Disturbances of attention among schizophrenic, depressed, and well mothers and their young children . J Child Psychol Psychiatry 1977;18:115-135.Crossref 20. Hemsley DR, Zanadu SL: 'Filtering' and the cognitive deficit in schizophrenia . Br J Psychiatry 1976;28:456-461.Crossref 21. Spring BJ: Shift of attention in schizophrenics, siblings of schizophrenics, and depressed patients . J Nerv Ment Dis 1980;168:133-140.Crossref 22. Weingartner H, Cohen RM, Murphy DL: Cognitive processes in depression . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1981;38:42-47.Crossref 23. Kovacs M, Beck AT: Maladaptive cognitive structures in depression . Am J Psychiatry 1978;135:525-533.

Journal

Archives of General PsychiatryAmerican Medical Association

Published: Jul 1, 1983

References