The effects on depressive thinking and depressed mood of a brief, standardized distraction procedure were examined. In low endogenous patients (scoring 3 or less on the Newcastle Diagnosis Scale (NDS)), distraction significantly reduced the frequency of depressing thoughts. Consistent with Beck's cognitive model of depression, these patients were significantly less depressed after distraction than after a control procedure. In high endogenous patients (scoring 4 or more on the NDS), distraction produced less marked reductions in frequency of depressing thoughts, and no significant change in depressed mood. It is suggested that the relationship between negative thinking and depressed mood differs in the two patient groups.