Relational responding task as an implicit measure of depression and psychological flexibility.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
The Relational Responding Task (RRT) is a novel implicit measure of beliefs. In this exploratory study, I sought to examine the utility of the RRT as an implicit measure of cognitive reactivity using a convenient sample of individuals without clinical symptoms of depression by replicating the study of Hussey and Barnes-Holmes (2012). Participants completed the RRT before and after a sad mood induction procedure, as well as questionnaires about depressive symptoms, psychological flexibility and rumination. The RRT asked participants to respond to antecedent-affect statements based on congruent and incongruent responding rules. The results showed that prior to mood-induction the normal and mild-moderate depressive groups displayed antecedent-affect congruent response bias. Post mood induction the normal group continued to display an antecedent-affect congruent response bias, whereas the mild-moderate depressive group displayed an antecedent-affect incongruent response bias. These were consistent with the study by Hussey and Barnes-Holmes (2012). However, the pattern of differential change was not found when groups were created using the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire II or the Rumination-Reflection Questionnaire, which is inconsistent with Hussey and Barnes-Holmes (2012). Therefore, my study provides an important first step toward validating RRT as an implicit measure of cognitive reactivity. The limitations of the current study and implications for future research are considered.