Title

Roles of the availability of explanations, feelings of ease, and dysphoria in judgments about the future

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1-2002

Abstract

This study investigated the process by which individuals with and without dysphoria judge the likelihood that specific negative events will happen to them. More specifically, it examined whether the positive relationship usually found between dysphoria and pessimism is mediated by how easy it feels to imagine reasons why such events would happen to the self. We manipulated the number of reasons that participants imagined (two vs. five) as an additional predictor of ease. Regression analysis indicated that both the number of reasons imagined and dysphoria predicted feelings of ease. Moreover, dysphoria and feelings of ease predicted likelihood judgments. Finally, feelings of ease partially mediated the relationship between dysphoria and likelihood judgments. We discuss the results in terms of the availability heuristic, the simulation heuristic, and ease of recall (e.g., Schwarz et al., 1991), as well as possible moderators of depressed individuals' judgments of future events.

Publication Name

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

Volume Number

21

First Page

686

Last Page

704

Issue Number

6

DOI

10.1521/jscp.21.6.686.22794

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