Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Chris Ball

Committee Members

Scott Cone

Paul Davies


Recent research has suggested that deficits in executive control, especially impairments in cognitive inhibition, as well as rumination, negative involuntary memories, and reduced autobiographical memory specificity could play key roles in the development and exacerbation of depressive symptoms. In the present study, participants completed the Negative Affective Priming (NAP) task, the Ruminative Responses Scale (RRS), the Continuous Word Association Task (CWAT), the Autobiographical Memory Task (AMT), and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale Revised (CESD-R) to examine the relationship between deficits in executive control and dysphoria that may be mediated by ruminative thinking, negative involuntary memory retrieval, and autobiographical memory specificity. Executive control deficits and greater ruminative tendencies were found in the dysphoric sample relative to controls, although there was no evidence to support differences in involuntary memory retrieval or memory specificity. Furthermore, rumination, especially brooding rumination, was found to mediate the relationship between executive control deficits and dysphoria. Although the NAP task seems to measure some aspect of executive control, the results suggested that the task itself warrants further scrutiny.

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