ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 6, Issue 1, 82-99, 2015
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Do Negative Appraisals of Unwanted Thoughts Predict Negative Outcomes? A Test of the Effect of Negative Appraisals across Thought Types

Authors
  Emily Gentes - Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, USA. and Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Durham, NC, USA, and The VA Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center;
  Ayelet Ruscio - Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, USA. and Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Durham, NC, USA, and The VA Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center;

Volume 6, Issue 1, 2015, Pages 82-99
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5127/jep.041314

Abstract
Cognitive-behavioral and metacognitive theories propose that negative interpretations of normal intrusive or repetitive negative thoughts lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, most research has been correlational and has examined only obsessional thoughts, despite similarities between theoretical models of obsessions and models of worry and rumination. In the present study, healthy participants were randomly assigned to receive negative, normalizing, or no feedback about their worried, ruminative, and obsessional thoughts to test the hypothesis that negative thought appraisals predict increased negative outcomes across thought types. Additional analyses determined whether preexisting beliefs about thoughts predicted outcomes, either alone or in interaction with experimental condition. Preexisting beliefs interacted with experimental condition to predict affective responses, with negative feedback having the expected effect only for individuals with preexisting negative beliefs about thoughts. Overall, results are consistent with a transdiagnostic model in which preexisting negative beliefs about thoughts act as a cognitive vulnerability in the face of specific, relevant environmental stressors.

Table of Contents
Introduction
Method
 Participants
 Design
 Measures
  Pre-manipulation measures.
  Outcome measures.
 Procedure
Results
 Preliminary Analyses
 Accuracy of thought classification.
  Demand effects and believability of feedback manipulation.
  Success of random assignment and evaluation of order effects.
 Effect of Experimental Condition and Interaction with Preexisting Negative Beliefs
Discussion
Acknowledgements
References

Correspondence to
Emily L. Gentes, MIRECC Fellow, Durham VA Medical Center, 508 Fulton St., Durham, NC 27713, USA.

Keywords
transdiagnostic; appraisals; intrusive thoughts; obsessive-compulsive disorder; major depressive disorder; generalized anxiety disorder

Dates
Received 24 Jan 2014; Revised 5 Jun 2014; Accepted 11 Jun 2014; In Press 5 Apr 2015







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