Emotional reasoning processes and dysphoric mood: cross-sectional and prospective relationships`

David Berle, Michelle L. Moulds*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Emotional reasoning refers to the use of subjective emotions, rather than objective evidence, to form conclusions about oneself and the world [1]. Emotional reasoning appears to characterise anxiety disorders. We aimed to determine whether elevated levels of emotional reasoning also characterise dysphoria. In Study 1, low dysphoric (BDI-II = 14; n = 42) university students were administered an emotional reasoning task relevant for dysphoria. In Study 2, a larger university sample were administered the same task, with additional self-referent ratings, and were followed up 8 weeks later. In Study 1, both the low and high dysphoric participants demonstrated emotional reasoning and there were no significant differences in scores on the emotional reasoning task between the low and high dysphoric groups. In Study 2, self-referent emotional reasoning interpretations showed small-sized positive correlations with depression symptoms. Emotional reasoning tendencies were stable across an 8-week interval although not predictive of subsequent depressive symptoms. Further, anxiety symptoms were independently associated with emotional reasoning and emotional reasoning was not associated with anxiety sensitivity, alexithymia, or deductive reasoning tendencies. The implications of these findings are discussed, including the possibility that while all individuals may engage in emotional reasoning, self-referent emotional reasoning may be associated with increased levels of depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere67359
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2013. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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