Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Winer, E. Samuel

Committee Member

Nadorff, Michael R.

Committee Member

Jarosz, Andrew

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only



Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


Executive functioning (EF) deficits may be associated with depressed states, although limited research has examined components of EF as endophenotypes of depression. This study assessed whether affective updating predicted depressive symptoms in a sample pre-selected for varying levels of depression via the affective n-back. In this task, participants determine whether the valence of a stimulus matches the valence of the stimulus presented two stimuli prior. Results suggested affective updating ability did not significantly predict depressive symptoms approximately over time, although higher accuracy in updating negative information was associated with more depressive symptoms approximately twelve weeks later. Moreover, accuracy in updating positive and negative information did not differ between groups. However, a trend emerged for depressed participants to be more accurate in updating negative information in the face of interfering positive information, compared to updating positive information with interfering negative information. The latter results are considered within the reward devaluation framework.