Global and Local Attention Processing in Depressed Mood

Document Type: Original Article


1 Master Student of General Psychology, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

2 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

3 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran


Background: Attention impairments are the hallmark feature of subclinical depression. The present study used Navon task to compare the allocation of attention to the local and global stimuli in depressed and nondepressed participants.
Method: The primary sample included 186 female high school students from Shiraz city who were selected using cluster sampling. The final sample included 145 participants with a stable mood during two-week mood monitoring (75 nondepressed and 70 depressed). A computerized version of Navon task was used to measure attention to local and global stimuli.
Results: Depressed participants showed relatively faster reaction times to the global stimuli than to the local stimuli when compared with those in the nondepressed group, which implies a more global scope of attention.
Conclusion: Findings are discussed in line with the available conceptualizations of attention changes in depression. In addition, the results are explained in terms of the defocused attention hypothesis and functional perspective of depressed mood.


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