Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Committee Member

Christopher Heavey

Number of Pages



The goal of this study was to examine the experience of depressed and nondepressed individuals, exploring the extent to which the specific constructs identified in Beck's cognitive theory of depression were differentially reflected in the momentary experiences of depressed individuals. This involved recruiting depressed and nondepressed individuals and then assessing their inner experience using both the traditional questionnaire measures developed in accord with Beck's theory and Descriptive Experience Sampling. Depressed participants showed substantial variability in the nature of their inner experience, had less frequent inner speech and more feelings than nondepressed participants. Salient characteristics found in the depressed participants' sampled moments were depressive content, depressive feelings, anxiety content, anxiety feelings, and a propensity for overall negative experiences. Participants' overall scores on the questionnaires correlated with the corresponding rated construct on the following: depressive content, the cognitive triad, and automatic thoughts. Further analyses suggested that these constructs were highly intercorrelated.


Cognitive; Depression; Descriptive; Examining; Experience; Sampling; Theory

Controlled Subject

Clinical psychology

File Format


File Size

2.43 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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