Neuroticism and Interpretive Bias as Risk Factors for Anxiety and Depression

Meghan Vinograd*, Alexander Williams, Michael Sun, Lyuba Bobova, Kate B. Wolitzky-Taylor, Suzanne Vrshek-Schallhorn, Susan Mineka, Richard E. Zinbarg, Michelle G. Craske

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Neuroticism has been associated with depression and anxiety both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Interpretive bias has been associated with depression and anxiety, primarily in cross-sectional and bias induction studies. The purpose of the current study was to examine the role of interpretive bias as a prospective risk factor and a mediator of the relation between neuroticism and depressive and anxious symptoms in young adults assessed longitudinally. Neuroticism significantly predicted a broad general-distress dimension but not intermediate fears and anhedonia-apprehension dimensions or a narrow social-fears dimension. Neuroticism also significantly predicted negative interpretive bias for social scenarios. Negative interpretive bias for social scenarios did not significantly predict dimension scores, nor did it mediate the relation between neuroticism and general distress or social fears. These results suggest that although neuroticism relates to negative interpretive bias, its risk for symptoms of depression and anxiety is at most weakly conferred through negative interpretive bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-656
Number of pages16
JournalClinical Psychological Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • anxiety
  • depression
  • interpretive bias
  • neuroticism
  • open data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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