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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractMental imagery appears to play an important role in a number of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and others. However, there is a condition called aphantasia in which people may lack the ability to form mental imagery at all. Thus, people with aphantasia or decreased visual imagery abilities may experience depression or anxiety at different rates, or they may just experience these conditions differently compared to people without aphantasia. This paper used data related to visual imagery, depression, anxiety, and well-being from surveys as well as Mind Window, an experience sampling mobile app that collects information on its users everyday thoughts, in order to look for patterns in thinking. Analyses showed that there may be a relationship between lower levels of mental imagery and higher levels of depression as well as between lower levels of mental imagery and lower levels of well-being. This could be due to less effective positive imagery capabilities or overgeneralized memories.
Degree ProgramPsychological Science