Activation of latent self-schemas as a cognitive vulnerability factor for depression : the potential role of implicit self-esteem
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Cognition and emotion. - Hove
, p. 1588-1599
To date, only two studies have investigated implicit self-esteem in depressed individuals. Surprisingly, both studies found evidence not in line with the cognitive theory of depression. We wanted to test whether these findings are replicable by investigating implicit self-esteem using the Implicit Association Test in currently depressed (CD), never depressed controls (ND), and formerly depressed individuals (FD). The latter two groups were tested before and after a negative mood induction. The results are in line with the previous two studies suggesting no difference in implicit self-esteem between CD patients and ND controls. Moreover, before mood induction, FD individuals evidenced a higher implicit self-esteem as compared to the two other groups. Compared to ND participants, FD individuals showed a significant drop in implicit self-esteem after the negative mood induction procedure, but this was due to the higher implicit self-esteem of FD before the mood induction. These results are discussed in the light of new perspectives on implicit self-esteem and depression.