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How Can We Enhance Cognitive Bias Modification Techniques? The Effects of Prospective Cognition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jong Sun Lee, Andrew Mathews, Sukhwinder Shergill, Daniel Ka Yiu Chan, Nadia Majeed, Jenny Yiend

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2015


  • Lee et al enhanced v standard cbm errors accepted 2015

    Lee_et_al_enhanced_v_standard_cbm_errors_accepted_2015.pdf, 539 KB, application/pdf


    Accepted author manuscript

    NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Behavior Therapy Experimental Psychiatry. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication.

King's Authors


Background and objectives:
Cognitive bias modification for interpretation, a computerized program which manipulates biased interpretations, has shown therapeutic promise, including evidence that negatively biased interpretations can be reduced, leading to corresponding improvements in symptoms. Cognitive bias modification for cognitive errors (CBM-errors) is a second generation CBM-I procedure which manipulates seven types of cognitive error and is especially relevant to depressive cognition. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the effects of the CBM-errors manipulation would be enhanced by adding a component facilitating prospective cognition to help embed and extend newly acquired interpretations.

A sample of 80 volunteers completed a single session experiment. With a pretraining-posttraining design, we compared the effects of enhanced CBM-errors (targeting cognitive errors plus prospective cognition) with standard CBM-errors (targeting cognitive errors without prospective cognition), on interpretations of new material and mood.

Significant differences between enhanced and standard CBM-errors revealed that enhanced positive training was more effective at decreasing negative interpretations compared to the standard procedure.

Extending the current investigation to a sample dysphoria or depression is needed for an appropriate next step.

The findings serve as ‘a proof of principle’ for the potential of prospective cognition to enhance the effects of CBM-errors and other similar CBM procedures. Further work to enhance the effectiveness of CBM procedures is needed.

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