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  Biased belief priors versus biased belief updating: Differential correlates of depression and anxiety

Gagne, C., Agai, S., Ramiro, C., Dayan, P., & Bishop, S. (2022). Biased belief priors versus biased belief updating: Differential correlates of depression and anxiety. PLoS Computational Biology, 18(8): e1010176. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1010176.

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Gagne, C1, Author           
Agai, S, Author
Ramiro, C, Author
Dayan, P1, Author           
Bishop, S, Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Computational Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_3017468              

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 Abstract: Individuals prone to anxiety and depression often report beliefs and make judgements about themselves that are more negative than those reported by others. We use computational modeling of a richly naturalistic task to disentangle the role of negative priors versus negatively biased belief updating and to investigate their association with different dimensions of Internalizing psychopathology. Undergraduate participants first provided profiles for a hypothetical tech internship. They then viewed pairs of other profiles and selected the individual they would prefer to work alongside out of each pair. In a subsequent phase of the experiment, participants made judgments about their relative popularity as hypothetical internship partners both before any feedback and after each of 20 items of feedback revealing whether or not they had been selected as the preferred teammate from a given pairing. Scores on latent factors of general negative affect, anxiety-specific affect and depression-specific affect were estimated using participants' self-report scores on standardized measures of anxiety and depression together with factor loadings from a bifactor analysis conducted previously. Higher scores on the depression-specific factor were linked to more negative prior beliefs but were not associated with differences in belief updating. In contrast, higher scores on the anxiety-specific factor were associated with a negative bias in belief updating but no difference in prior beliefs. These findings indicate that, to at least some extent, distinct processes may impact the formation of belief priors and in-the-moment belief updating and that these processes may be differentially disrupted in depression and anxiety. Future directions for enquiry include examination of the possibility that prior beliefs biases in depression might reflect generalization from prior experiences or global schema whereas belief updating biases in anxiety might be more situationally specific.

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 Dates: 2022-08
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1010176
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Title: PLoS Computational Biology
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: San Francisco, CA : Public Library of Science
Pages: 28 Volume / Issue: 18 (8) Sequence Number: e1010176 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1553-734X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1000000000017180_1