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Content-Free Cueing as a Technique to Inhibit Mind Wandering and Treat Anhedonia in Depression

Brauner, N; (2013) Content-Free Cueing as a Technique to Inhibit Mind Wandering and Treat Anhedonia in Depression. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis addresses the relationship between mind wandering and mood. Mind wandering is defined as a state of ‘decoupled attention’ removed from the immediate contexts towards unrelated thoughts and feelings (Smallwood & Schooler, 2006). Part one is a literature review that investigates the association between mind wandering and mood. It examines whether mind wandering affects mood and vice versa, and how mind wandering relates to mood disorder. Overall the findings were inconsistent. Gaps in the literature are highlighted and suggestions for future research are discussed. Part two consists of an empirical paper investigating if content-free cues in the form of auditory tones can reduce mind wandering and enhance mood. It furthermore examines if the beneficial effects of cuing are more pronounced in individuals with increasing depression severity. While cues led to a reduction in mind wandering in two laboratory tasks, this did not translate into pleasant every-day activities carried out at home. There was furthermore only weak support for the effects of cues on mood and contrary to predictions depression severity did not moderate the effects of cues. Limitations of the design and suggestion for further research are discussed along with clinical implications. Part three is a critical appraisal, which discusses the research designs, methods and testing and makes suggestions for future research. It closes with personal reflections on completing the thesis.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Content-Free Cueing as a Technique to Inhibit Mind Wandering and Treat Anhedonia in Depression
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1409970
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