Cognitive-affective interaction: A test of the “specificity” and “generality” hypotheses
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- Clark, D.A. Cogn Ther Res (1986) 10: 607. doi:10.1007/BF01173749
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Two correlational studies that investigated the “specificity” and “generality” hypotheses of cognitive-affective interaction are reported. Nonpsychiatric individuals were administered a questionnaire designed to assess the subjective experience of representative anxious and depressive thoughts across five parameters: frequency, sadness, worry, dismissal, and unacceptability. Thoughts of loss and failure evidenced a specific relation with self-reported depressed mood while, to a lesser extent, cognitions of harm and danger demonstrated their strongest association with anxiety. Presence of mild dysphoria was significantly and reliably predicted by cognitive factors. In addition to supporting Beck's cognitive theory of emotion, the results also suggest a number of variables that are influential in determining the strength of association between affect and cognition.