Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Psychology
Jeffrey H Kahn
Research suggests there are biases that affect cognitive processes such as attention and memory in affective disorders (Everaert et al., 2020; Grant et al., 2020) and traits associated with these disorders, such as perfectionism (Besser et al., 2008; Howell et al., 2016; Tonta et al., 2019). However, very limited research exists on the relationship between attention and memory bias in perfectionism. The aim of the current study was to examine to what extent cognitive biases exist and how they are related in perfectionism. I combined a dot probe task to measure attention bias with a recognition task to measure memory bias using perfectionism-relevant, negative, positive, and neutral stimuli. The results suggest attention bias does not mediate the relationship between perfectionism and memory bias, regardless of word type. However, results showed perfectionism was directly related to memory bias for perfectionism-relevant words only. Perfectionism was positively correlated with hits for perfectionism-relevant and negative words, not positive or neutral words. Suggesting perfectionism does have a role in memory bias. Limitations, future directions, and implications are discussed. To my knowledge this was the first study that examined both attention bias and memory bias in perfectionism. Understanding the relationship between cognitive biases in perfectionism can help improve mental health as perfectionism has become more prevalent and increasingly linked to mental health issues.
Marsh, Elizabeth Mary, "Cognitive Biases in Perfectionism: Attention Bias and Memory Bias for Perfectionism-Relevant and Negative Stimuli" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 1560.