ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 6, Issue 1, 100-111, 2015
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Experimental Modification of Appraisal Style: Benefits of Seeing the Big Picture

  Janna Miller - The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Educational Psychology, USA
  Stephanie Rude - The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Educational Psychology, USA
  Morgynn Haner - The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Educational Psychology, USA

Volume 6, Issue 1, 2015, Pages 100-111

Big picture appraisal (BPA) entails viewing difficult situations and one’s reactions to them in terms of a larger context. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether big picture appraisal could be induced using cognitive bias modification (CBM); whether the trained appraisal style could be observed on other tasks; and whether emotional reactivity would be affected. Participants read vignettes that differed between conditions only by the final word or phrase, presented as a to-be-completed fragment. As predicted, participants showed generalization of training effects to the interpretations of new vignettes and showed effects of training on the Scrambled Sentences Test, a measure of cognitive bias that entailed unscrambling sentences under time pressure to form statements that were consistent or not with big picture thinking. In addition, participants in the big picture as compared to the control condition showed a trend toward less negative mood following failure feedback.

Table of Contents
  Appraisal training conditions.
  Generalization of training task (manipulation check).
  Mood measure—positive and negative affect schedule (PANAS; Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988).
  Ruminative Response Scale- 10 item version (RRS; Nolen-Hoeksema & Morrow, 1991; Treynor, Gonzalez, & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2003)
  Remote Associations Task (RAT) with failure feedback.
  Scrambled Sentences Test for Big Picture Appraisal (SST-BPA; Haner et al., 2013, May).
 Descriptive Statistics
 Testing the Generalization of Appraisal Style to a Similar Task (Manipulation Check)
 Testing the Effectiveness of the RAT Stressor Task in Changing Mood (Manipulation Check)
 Testing the Effect of Training on Mood Before and After a Stressor
  Mood immediately following training.
  Mood following the RAT failure task.
 Testing the Effect of Training on the Scrambled Sentences Task

Correspondence to
Janna Miller, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station D5800, Austin, TX 78712.

appraisal, emotion regulation, cognitive bias modification, context

Received 14 Mar 2014; Revised 25 Jul 2014; Accepted 28 Jul 2014; In Press 5 Apr 2015

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