Biases in affective forecasting and recall in individuals with depression and anxiety symptoms

Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2012 Jul;38(7):895-906. doi: 10.1177/0146167212447242. Epub 2012 May 30.


The authors used experience sampling to investigate biases in affective forecasting and recall in individuals with varying levels of depression and anxiety symptoms. Participants who were higher in depression symptoms demonstrated stronger (more pessimistic) negative mood prediction biases, marginally stronger negative mood recall biases, and weaker (less optimistic) positive mood prediction and recall biases. Participants who were higher in anxiety symptoms demonstrated stronger negative mood prediction biases, but positive mood prediction biases that were on par with those who were lower in anxiety. Anxiety symptoms were not associated with mood recall biases. Neither depression symptoms nor anxiety symptoms were associated with bias in event prediction. Their findings fit well with the tripartite model of depression and anxiety. Results are also consistent with the conceptualization of anxiety as a "forward-looking" disorder, and with theories that emphasize the importance of pessimism and general negative information processing in depressive functioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Forecasting*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pleasure
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult