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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
679 Downloads (Pure)


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


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