Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 134–141 | Cite as

Cognitive Style Moderates Attention to Attribution-Relevant Stimuli

  • Sarah E. Romens
  • Donal G. MacCoon
  • Lyn Y. Abramson
  • Seth D. Pollak
Original Article


Individuals with negative cognitive style are at high risk for depressive disorders; however, the mechanisms linking cognitive vulnerability to depression are not fully understood. Here, we use an attentional blink task to test whether stimuli associated with negative attributions are especially salient to individuals with high negative cognitive style. We found that individuals high in negative cognitive style were able to attend to negative attribution words during a period of time when attentional resources would ordinarily be depleted. These individuals were not more likely than those with low or moderate negative cognitive style to detect neutral and negative non-self-relevant words during this period. These data suggest that cognitive style modulates the saliency of material that is relevant to negative attributions, and these alterations in information processing may link cognitive style to development of depression.


Cognitive style Cognitive vulnerability Attentional blink Depression Emotion regulation 



This study was supported by a Collaborative Research Award from the University of Wisconsin Department of Psychology (SR) and by the US National Institute of Health (SP).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah E. Romens
    • 1
  • Donal G. MacCoon
    • 2
  • Lyn Y. Abramson
    • 1
  • Seth D. Pollak
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin—MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and BehaviorMadisonUSA

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