ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to examine the association between autobiographical memory specificity and future thinking in a depressed sample. A total of 88 individuals who meet the DSM-IV criteria of major depression were included and completed the autobiographical memory test (AMT) and the future thinking task (FTT). The FTT was an index of number of future plausible events, rating of likelihood and emotional valence. The results showed that positive future thinking was significantly correlated with retrieval of specific positive autobio-graphical memories (r = 0.23). Moreover, correlational analyses showed that positive autobiographical memo-ries were negatively correlated with extended autobiographical memories, repeated autobiographical memories, semantic associations and non-responses on the AMT. Self-report measures of depression and anxiety were not correlated with either the FTT or the AMT. The results of this cross-sectional study only give weak support for an association between autobiographical memory specificity and future thinking.
Cite this paper
nullSarkohi, A. , Bjärehed, J. & Andersson, G. (2011). Links Between Future Thinking and Autobiographical Memory Specificity in Major Depression. Psychology, 2, 261-265. doi: 10.4236/psych.2011.23041.
 American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text revision ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.
 Beck, A. T., Epstein, N., Brown, G., & Steer, R. (1988). An inventory for measuring clinical anxiety. Psychometric properties. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56, 893-897.
 Beck, A. T., Rush, A. J., Shaw, B. F., & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford press.
 Beck, A. T., Ward, C. H., Mendelson, M., Mock, J., & Erbaugh, J. (1961). An inventory for measuring depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 4, 561-571.
 Brittlebank, A. D., Scott, J., Williams, J. M. G., & Ferrier, N. (1993). Autobiographical memory in depresson: State or trait marker? British Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 118-121.
 Conway, M. A., & Pleydell-Pearce, C. W. (2000). The construction of autobiographical memories in the self-memory system. Psychological Review, 107, 261-288.
 Dalgleish, T., Tchanturia, K., Serpell, L., Hems, S., Yiend, J., de Silva, P., et al. (2003). Self-reported abuse relates to autobiographical memory style in patients with eating disorders. Emotion, 3, 211-222.
 Dalgleish, T., Williams, J. M. G., Golden, A. M., Perkins, N., Barrett, L. F., Barnard, P. J., et al. (2007). Reduced specificity of autobiographical memory and depression: the role of executive control. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 136, 23-42.
 Dickson, J. M., & Bates, G. W. (2006). Autobiographical memories and views of the future: In relation to dysphoria. International Journal of Psychology, 41, 107-116.
 First, M. B., Gibbon, M., Spitzer, R. L., & Williams, J. B. W. (1997). Structured clinical interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I). Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Press.
 Frisch, M. B., Cornell, J., Villanueva, M., & Retzlaff, P. J. (1992). Clinical validation of the Quality Of Life Inventory: A measure of life satisfaction for use in treatment planning and outcome assessment. Psychological Assessment, 4, 92-101.
 Hirschfeld, R. M. (2001). The comorbidity of major depression and anxiety disorders: Recognition and management in primary care. Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 3, 244-254.
 Lezak, M. (1995). Neuropsychological assessment (3 ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
 MacLeod, A. K., Byrne, A., & Valentine, J. D. (1996). Affect, emotional disorder, and future-directed thinking. Cognition and Emotion, 10, 69-86.
 MacLeod, A. K., & Moore, R. (2000). Positive thinking revisited: Positive cognitions, well-being and mental health. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 7, 1-10.
 MacLeod, A. K., Rose, G. S., & Williams, J. M. G. (1993). Components of hopelessness about the future in parasuicide. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 17, 441-455.
 Macleod, A. K., Tata, P., Kentish, J., Carroll, F., & Hunter, E. (1997). Anxiety, depression, and explanation-based pessimism for future positive and negative events. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 4, 15-24.
 MacLeod, A. K., Tata, P., Kentish, J., & Jacobsen, H. (1997). Retrospective and prospective cognitions in anxiety and depression. Cognition and Emotion, 11, 467-479.
 Phillips, D. L. (1968). Social class and psychological disturbance: The influence of positive and negative experience. Social Psychiatry 3, 41-46.
 Raes, F., Hermans, D., Williams, J. M. G., Demyttenaere, K., Sabbe, B., Pieters, G., et al. (2006). Is overgeneral autobiographical memory an isolated memory phenomena in major depression? Memory, 14, 584-594.
 Schacter, D. L., Addis, D. R., & Buckner, R. L. (2007). Remembering the past to imagine the future: the prospective brain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 8, 657-661.
 Svanborg, P., & ?sberg, M. (2001). A comparison between the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the self-rating version of the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Journal of Affective Disorders, 64, 203–216.
 Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: the PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063-1070.
 Vernmark, K., Lenndin, J., Bj?rehed, J., Carlsson, M., Karlsson, J., ?berg, J., et al. (2010). Internet administered guided self-help versus individualized e-mail therapy: A randomized trial of two versions of CBT for major depression. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48, 368-376.
 Williams, J. M. G. (2001). The Autobiographical Memory Test. Bangor: University of Wales.
 Williams, J. M. G. (2006). Capture and rumination, functional avoidance and executive control (CaRFAX): Three processes that underlie overgeneral memory. Cognition and Emotion, 20, 548-568.
 Williams, J. M. G., Barnhofer, T., Crane, C., Herman, D., Raes, F., Watkins, E., et al. (2007). Autobiographical memory specificity and emotional disorder. Psychological Bulletin, 133, 122-148.
 Williams, J. M. G., & Broadbent, K. (1986). Autobiographical memory in suicide attempters. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95, 144-149.
 Williams, J. M. G., Ellis, N. C., Tyers, C., Healy, H., Rose, G., & Macleod, A. K. (1996). The specificity of autobiographical memory and imageability of the future. Memory & Cognition, 24, 116-125.