Original Article

Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 68-78

First online:

Cognitive Biases in Depression and Eating Disorders

  • Jessica S. BenasAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Binghamton University Email author 
  • , Brandon E. GibbAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Binghamton University

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This study examined the link between cognitive biases (i.e., attention biases and implicit associations) and symptoms of depression and eating disorders and whether the content of these biases is disorder-specific. These hypotheses were examined with a sample of 202 undergraduate women. Cognitive biases were measured via computer-based tasks (i.e., the probe detection task and the Implicit Association Test) and symptom levels were measured via interview and self-report. Partially supporting the main hypothesis, symptoms of depression and eating disorders were significantly correlated with disorder-specific implicit associations but not attentional biases. Partially supporting the specificity hypothesis, there was evidence for stronger associations between symptoms of eating disorders and eating specific implicit associations.


Cognitive biases Depression Eating disorders