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Episodic and affective memory distortions in dysphoria: Bayesian testing of diverging theories [Registered Report Stage 1 Protocol]

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-05-17, 16:34 authored by S.B. Duken, Liza Keessen, Herbert Hoijtink, Merel Kindt, V.A. van AstV.A. van Ast

ABSTRACT: People suffering from dysphoria retrieve autobiographical memories distorted in content and affect, which is thought to contribute to the aetiology and maintenance of depression. However, key memory difficulties in dysphoria remain elusive because predominant theories disagree how memories of different valence are altered, and because studies into affective distortions are scarce and mostly employed subjective self-report. Here, we will assess the psychophysiological expression of affect and retrieved episodic detail while dysphoric and non-dysphoric individuals relive positive, negative, and neutral memories. Using Bayesian statistics, we will quantify evidence for competing predictions of overgeneral memory and negativity bias theories regarding dysphoric distortions in expressed affect and retrieved detail. Furthermore, we test the critical assumption of these theories and emerging memory therapeutics that episodic detail correlates with affect-increases and investigate whether this relationship is altered in dysphoria. By providing insights into memory distortions, our results may contribute to the development of memory therapeutics.

ITEMS: Stage 1 Registered Report Protocol, Stage 1 Registered Report Supplementary Information.


This research project is supported by a Research Talent grant (S.B. Duken, V.A. van Ast, and M. Kindt, grant number: 406.17.564), awarded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Author 5 is supported by a Veni grant (grant number: 451.16.021), awarded by NWO. Author 4 is supported by an ERC Advanced Grant (grant number: 743263), awarded by the European Research Council. The funders have no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.


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