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This experiment compares the effects of visual vs. auditory presentation of cognitive bias modification (CBM) training scenarios upon interpretation style and emotional vulnerability. For both modalities, negative, but not positive interpretation biases were successfully induced relative to a baseline. Mood declined for the auditory but not the visual group throughout the CBM procedure, irrespective of the valence of the CBM condition. This deterioration in mood raises an important methodological issue and indicates that the increased testing time brought about by auditory compared to visual presentation needs to be addressed. The CBM procedures did not influence emotional vulnerability as assessed by behavioural measures, but counter-to-prediction, CBM procedures did increase self-reported depression vulnerability for the positive but not negative CBM condition.

Original publication




Journal article


J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry

Publication Date





558 - 570


Acoustic Stimulation, Adolescent, Adult, Affect, Aged, Analysis of Variance, Anxiety, Bias (Epidemiology), Cognition, Cognitive Therapy, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Photic Stimulation, Recognition (Psychology), Stress, Psychological, Young Adult