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Episodic Simulation of Future Events in Dependent and Non-dependent Daily Cannabis Users

Mansell, Samantha; (2017) Episodic Simulation of Future Events in Dependent and Non-dependent Daily Cannabis Users. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

OVERVIEW: This thesis investigates the Episodic Simulation of Future Events (ESoFE) within two populations; cannabis users and individuals diagnosed with psychosis. Part one provides a narrative synthesis of literature investigating the hypothesis that individuals with psychosis show an impairment in ESoFE. Psychosis spectrum studies investigating ESoFE in analogue samples with psychotic traits were also included. Evidence was found for individuals with psychosis to demonstrate an impairment on some measures of ESoFE, but only under certain task conditions. Preliminary evidence for an ESoFE enhancement in analogue samples with psychotic traits was also identified. In light of the methodological inconsistencies across studies, recommendations are made for the development of a standardised ESoFE measure, as well as for the literature to be organised around an agreed taxonomy of future-orientated cognition. Part two is an empirical paper examining how cannabis use affects ESoFE in both dependent and non-dependent daily cannabis users. Both cannabis-using groups were compared with non-cannabis-using controls on an ESoFE task which required participants to imagine future events related to cue sentences. ESoFE differences were observed between the two cannabis-using groups, but not between either cannabis-using group and controls. Non-dependent users provided richer descriptions of their cannabis related future events than dependent users, and this was taken as evidence for a cannabis ESoFE ‘bias’ in non-dependent users relative to dependent users. The findings have potential implications for treatment programmes requiring cannabis-dependent individuals to project themselves into the future. Part three provides an appraisal of the research process, including an account of why the research area was chosen, critical reflections on the methodology, and some concluding reflections on how the author’s experiences of research and clinical practice have enriched one another. This was a joint project with fellow DClinPsy student, Ruth Braidwood (Braidwood, 2017). Jon Waldron (MSc student) was also involved in recruitment and data collection. See Appendix 1 for a breakdown of contributions.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: Episodic Simulation of Future Events in Dependent and Non-dependent Daily Cannabis Users
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1574555
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