ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 6, Issue 1, 59-81, 2015
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Implicit Affect after Mental Imagery: Introduction of a Novel Measure and Relations to Depressive Symptoms in a Non-Clinical Sample

Authors
  Stefanie Görgen - Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Mainz, Germany
  Jutta Joormann - Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, USA
  Wolfgang Hiller - Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Mainz, Germany
  Michael Witthöft - Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Mainz, Germany and Department of Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy and Experimental Psychopathology

Volume 6, Issue 1, 2015, Pages 59-81
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5127/jep.041114

Abstract
Mental imagery can critically influence our emotional state. In contrast to commonly used explicit measures, implicit measures are promising for objectively assessing automatic emotional processes beyond deliberate control. In two studies with non-clinical samples, we tested the Affect Misattribution Procedure (AMP) to measure implicit affect induced by mental imagery. In a first study (N = 145), the implicit measure showed that mental imagery elicits significantly stronger negative affect than verbally processed stimuli (F(1, 144) = 3.94, p≤.05, ƞ2p = .03). In Study 2 (N = 71), we refined the implicit measure and found that mental images can induce implicit affective reactions at least as strong as pictures. Moreover, implicit affect after positive imagery was negatively related to depressive symptoms (r = -.26, p<.05) and explained incremental variance in depressive symptoms beyond explicitly assessed affect. Our studies suggest that the AMP represents a promising measure of implicit affect induced by mental images.

Table of Contents
Introduction
Study 1
 Methods and material
  Participants
  Implicit Measure of Affect: Adapted Affect Misattribution Procedure
  Explicit Measure of Affect: Self-Assessment Manikin
  Stimuli used in the implicit and explicit measure of affect
  Questionnaires
 Results
  Manipulation check
  Explicit affect after verbal processing and mental imagery
  Implicit affect after verbal processing and mental imagery
  Associations between depressive symptoms and affect ratings
 Discussion
Study 2
 Methods and material
  Participants
  Experimental tasks
  Questionnaires
  Procedure
 Results
  Manipulation check
  Explicit affect after mental imagery and pictures
  Implicit affect after mental imagery and pictures
  Associations between depressive symptoms and affect ratings
 Discussion
General discussion
 Limitations
 Conclusion and Future Research
References
Appendix A
Appendix B

Correspondence to
Stefanie M. Görgen, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Mainz, Wallstraße 3, 55122 Mainz, Germany.

Keywords
mental imagery, depression, implicit measure, affect misattribution procedure (AMP), implicit affect

Dates
Received 14 Jan 2014; Revised 4 Aug 2014; Accepted 27 Aug 2014; In Press 5 Apr 2015







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