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Individual differences in action identification and depression: the relationship with visual perspective in autobiographical memory

Fitzgerald, Anna (2018) Individual differences in action identification and depression: the relationship with visual perspective in autobiographical memory. University of Sussex. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Personal memory is an influential factor in constructing self-identity. The way one views themselves based on past events significantly affects mental processes in the present, impacting not only wellbeing but also attitudes and opinions that guide future behaviour. It is therefore hugely important to understand the mechanisms by which mental disorders influence everyday memory functioning. Depression and visual perspective (observer and own-eyes) of mental imagery are both associated with varying levels of cognitive processing and action identification, which has been a target for therapeutic treatment in the past. This study therefore aimed to investigate the relationships between action identification, depression, and visual perspective of autobiographical memory. 116 participants reported spontaneous visual perspective ratings for 10 specific memories, 4 of which were subsequently shifted to the opposite perspective and rated again. Standardised questionnaires were distributed to measure action identification and depression. Correlation and mediation analyses were conducted, yielding no significant results. The findings are discussed in terms of the confounding variables that may have opposed the predicted effects and therefore need to be controlled for in future research within this field.

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