ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 5, Issue 3, 229-243, 2014
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Chasing Clarity: Rumination as a Strategy for Making Sense of Emotions

  Vera Vine - Yale University
  Amelia Aldao - The Ohio State University
  Susan Nolen-Hoeksema - Yale University

Volume 5, Issue 3, 2014, Pages 229-243

Research is needed on the affective mechanisms that motivate people to ruminate. One possibility is that some people might ruminate in response to deficits in emotional clarity because not knowing how they feel might be intolerable to them. We tested the hypothesis that the relationship between low emotional clarity and rumination would be moderated by intolerance of ambiguity. Participants in a longitudinal online study (N = 195) provided selfreports of intolerance of ambiguity and rumination and reported state emotional clarity following an idiographic mood induction; three weeks later they reported on rumination again. As predicted, participants with low emotional clarity at Time 1 ruminated more three weeks later, but only if they were intolerant of ambiguity. Findings support the notion that rumination sometimes functions as a search for answers about emotions. We discuss implications for understanding the affective disturbances perpetuating vicious cycles of rumination and for rumination-focused clinical interventions.

Table of Contents
  Retained vs. attritted subjects.
  Mood Induction
  Emotional clarity.
  Intolerance of ambiguity.
 Preliminary Analyses
  Manipulation check.
  Descriptive analyses and bivariate correlations.
 Main Analyses
 Limitations and Strengths
 Clinical Implications and Future Directions

Correspondence to
Vera Vine, M.S., M.Phil., Yale University, Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 208205, New Haven, CT 06520.

emotion, emotional clarity, emotion awareness, emotion understanding, rumination, emotion regulation, intolerance of ambiguity

Received 3 Sep 2013; Revised 17 Apr 2014; Accepted 1 Jun 2014; In Press 21 Nov 2014

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