Cognitive Functioning in Depression
This chapter summarizes the ideas put forth regarding cognitive functioning in depression in the previous chapter and provides unifying insights on the subject matter. The first part of the commentary reviews the main hypotheses and limitations in methodology of the theories of depression posited by Beck, Bower, and Teasdale. These limitations have been addressed by Ian Gotlib and his colleagues through the use of experimental tasks—Stroop color-naming, depth of processing, self-referent encoding, and dichotic listening—derived from cognitive psychology. Gotlib's research on depression focused on the nature of cognitive bias and the temporal stability of biases in attention, memory, and judgment. The commentary identifies several issues raised in Gotlib's research which include remission in cognitive biases upon symptom resolution and cognitive functioning differences related to etiologic heterogeneity, comorbidity, and severity. The latter sections explore Gotlib's ideas on recovery from depression and on future research on the topic.
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