Cognitive Reactivity and Affect
Cognitive Reactivity (CR), an established diathesis for depression, has been defined as the strength of association between displeasure and dysfunctional attitudes within person. However, displeasure could encompass a variety of distinct types of affect, among which only cognitive reactivity to sadness (CR-SAD) has been studied in prior research. In the current study, college student participants were recruited to validate a new daily diary measure of CR that includes dynamic assessments of CR-SAD, as well as Cognitive Reactivity to Negative Affect (CR-NA) and Cognitive Reactivity to Positive Affect (CR-PA). Three results emerged: (1) the daily diary measure of CR-SAD (CR-SAD-DD) converged with other measures of CR-SAD; (2) CR-SAD-DD was associated with depressive symptoms; (3) naturally occurring NA and PA were found to uniquely contribute to emergence of dysfunctional cognitions over and above sadness. The current study was the first to combine literature in CR and affective structures, and its findings may have profound implications in the diagnosis and treatment of depression and other psychopathologies.