Overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) is an important cognitive phenomenon in depression, but questions remain regarding the underlying mechanisms. The CaR-FA-X model (Williams et al., 2007) proposes three mechanisms that may contribute to OGM, but little work has examined the possible additive and/or interactive effects among them. We examined two mechanisms of CaR-FA-X: capture and rumination, and impaired executive control. We analysed data from undergraduates (N = 109) scoring high or low on rumination who were presented with cues of high and low self-relevance on the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT). Executive control was operationalised as performance on both the Stroop Colour-Word Task and the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT). Hierarchical generalised linear modelling was used to predict whether participants would generate a specific memory on a trial of the AMT. Higher COWAT scores, lower rumination, and greater cue self-relevance predicted a higher probability of a specific memory. There was also a rumination × cue self-relevance interaction: Higher (vs lower) rumination was associated with a lower probability of a specific memory primarily for low self-relevant cues. We found no evidence of interactions between these mechanisms. Findings are interpreted with respect to current autobiographical memory models. Future directions for OGM mechanism research are discussed.
- Autobiographical memory specificity
- Car-fa-x model
- Executive control
- Overgeneral autobiographical memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)