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Habitual visualizer/verbalizer cognitive style: the impact of anxiety and depression
journal contributionposted on 2002-01-01, 00:00 authored by Kathleen Moore
Imagery and verbal cognitive abilities appear to be differentially affected by psychopathology, yet research has failed to consider Paivio's proposition that people have habitual cognitive styles. The aim of this study was to establish habitual cognitive style (verbalizer/visualizer) among depressed, anxious, and control respondents and compare these to their imagery and verbal abilities in the state mode. A comparison of these groups confirmed that there were no differences in preferred habitual cognitive style. In the state mode, the anxious group demonstrated the highest imagery vividness and the depressed group the lowest. Both clinical groups demonstrated attenuated verbal reasoning and high levels of confusion. Within-groups comparison confirmed the attenuation of verbal ability for both clinical groups while the control group remained stable. All three groups demonstrated enhanced state imagery ability over habitual visual preference. This change was greatest for the anxious group followed by the control and then the depressed groups. The therapeutic implications of these findings are discussed .