Dependent personality traits and information processing: assessing the interpretation of ambiguous information using the Thematic Apperception Test

A. Weertman*, A.R. Arntz, E.G.W. Schouten, L.J.J.M. Dreessen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives. This study was designed to investigate interpretation bias in people with dependent personality traits. Method. Eight Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) cards were administered to participants (N = 56) who scored high or low on DSM-III-R dependent personality pathology. Two independent judges rated the TAT stories using a rating list based on the cognitive model of the dependent and paranoid personality disorder. Results. Controlling for self-esteem, the dependent interpretation bias appeared to be specific for dependent personality pathology. SEM analysis supported a mediation model in which beliefs mediate the relationship between DSM-III-R traits and interpretation bias. Conclusions. The findings in this study support the hypothesis that people with dependent traits are characterized by a schema-related interpretation bias and that this bias is mediated by dependent beliefs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-278
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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