Cognitive biases associated with a history of mania

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Sheri L. Johnson, Committee Chair


Exploration of cognitive biases associated with depression has become its own cottage industry; hardly the same can be said of research into parallel biases associated with mania. Literature assessing such biases during periods of remission is almost nonexistent. The current study redressed this shortcoming by exploring whether cognitive biases associated with mania could be documented during remission. In particular, the study assessed biases in the content of cognitions and biases in attention and memory.Two groups of individuals were recruited, namely a group of individuals with bipolar I disorder in remission (n = 25) and a control group of individuals with no history of a mood disorder (n = 24). A battery of tasks was administered before and after a positive mood induction. Tasks assessed the content of cognitions (confidence ratings and a thought-listening procedure), attention (a faces dot-probe task), implicit memory (a lexical decision task) and explicit memory (a self-referential encoding task). Analyses focused on group differences between the bipolar and control group.Results from the study indicated that cognitive biases independent of mood state were not apparent in the bipolar group for any of the processes or measures that were assessed. There was some evidence, however, of a mood-dependent positive bias on explicit memory in the bipolar group. Finally, there was a robust link between subsyndromal symptoms of depression, even minimal ones, and a range of negative cognitive biases.


Psychology, Clinical; Psychology, Cognitive

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