Depression and self-focused attention

Timothy W. Smith, Jeff Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Recent research on self-focused attention has indicated effects that parallel several cognitive and affective phenomena associated with depression. Specifically, discrepancies between perceived real and ideal self, increased affective response, self-attribution for negative events, and accurate self-reports occur both in depression and as a result of self-focused attention. A study is reported that investigated the relationship between depression and a measure of private self-consciousness, a dispositional measure of the tendency to attend to one's inner thoughts and feelings. As predicted, a reliable positive relationship was found. The potential role of self-focused attention in maintaining and exacerbating depression was discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-331
Number of pages9
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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