Cognitive Processing of Emotional Disorders

Published: 2021-07-01
611 words
3 pages
6 min to read
Wesleyan University
Type of paper: 
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Biases in cognitive processing have for long been identified as a critical issue in cognitive models related to psychological diseases. Based on cognitive theories, mental disorders can be categorized through various modes related to information processing like attentional, memory or interpretation bias. Previous studies on cognitive depression and anxiety have been utilizing different patterns in identifying cognitive biases. According to Blaney (1986), patients with depressive disorders were found to have memory biases related to negative information in particular memory activities like free recognition. However, MacLeod, Mathews, & Tara (1986) and Mathews & MacLeod (1986) found that these patients are not biased during their early attentional processes. Contrary, anxiety is closely related to early emotional biases as well as particular encoding patterns related to threat information. As stated by Amir, McNally, Riemann, & Clements (1996); Mathews (1990) and Mogg, Mathews, & Weinman (1987) memory tasks are not associated with such biases. In an attempt to expound these disparities, various studies have provided the differences in cognitive depression and anxiety. However, different emotional diseases are linked with the different processes of integration and elaboration. As stated by Williams (1988, 1997), anxiety is related with the automatic priming of fearful stimuli whereas depression is linked with an illustration of negative stimuli.

The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the different patterns of cognitive biases in panic, somatoform and depressive disorders. The results of the analysis provided a concurring report to the predictions made. Patients with depressive disorders indicated a critical Stroop interferences impact at the supraliminal stage (Mineka, Rafaeli, & Yovel, 2003). These effects of interventions were similar to the mood-congruent words. In addition, the depressive patient showed an explicit memory bias for the mood-congruent on the Fre-call operations. Contrary to this, the preemptive bias did not show any correlation to the negative words thus indicating depressive patients has no preconscious Orient of their attention about several information. Moreover, this research found that panic patients reported a critical Stroop interference impact at the subliminal exposure situations. However, patients with panic disorders showed a Stroop interferences both on physical and threat and harmful words in this research. This is an indication that subliminal troop interferences impacts of panic disease are not only limited to physical threats but also on negative threats. Patients with panic disorders were found to have a particular memory benefit for negative words only, but the results were adverse for physical threats words. However, controversies exist on the availability of explicit memory biases on patients with panic disorders given that the opinion consensus indicates that social phobia and GAD have no close relationship with explicit memory bias (Mineka, Rafaeli, & Yovel, 2003). In the case of patients with somatoform disorders, the results of the study indicated that they have a critical Stroop interference impact for physical threats words specifically at the supraliminal stage but not at the subliminal stage. This was an indication that these group of patients attends to physical disease-related treatment at the conscious levels only. Therefore, the emotional Stroop activity confirms that the pre-attentive processing does not contribute to somatoform disorders.

This the current study found that cognitive information processing which is mood related in nervous diseases does not work equally for all cognitive processes since different psychological disorders are linked with varying patterns of cognitive biases. In addition, the patterns of cognitive biases have the possibility of making a contribution to the development of various emotional disorders. As a result, there is great need to clearly understand how different mechanisms may help in developing effective interventions for emotionally related disorders (Mineka, Rafaeli, & Yovel, 2003).


Mineka, S., Rafaeli, E., & Yovel, I. (2003). Cognitive biases in emotional disorders: Information processing and social-cognitive perspectives. Handbook of affective science, 976-1009.

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