en
Scientific article
English

Difficulties in disengaging attentional resources from self-generated thoughts moderate the link between dysphoria and maladaptive self-referential thinking

Published inCognition and emotion, vol. 26, no. 4, p. 748-757
Publication date2012
Abstract

Negative emotions increase self-focused attention, a core feature of depression and anxiety-related disorders. However, the cognitive mechanisms associated with the tendency to self-focus-and, conversely, with the ability to voluntarily disengage attentional resources from the self and direct them towards the external environment-remain poorly understood. Thus, this study aimed to examine whether a specific cognitive control mechanism that directs attention between self-generated thoughts and external information might moderate the relationship between dysphoria and maladaptive self-referential thinking. Results showed that dysphoria increases the frequency of rumination, self-blame, and catastrophising, especially for participants who have more difficulty in switching from self-generated thoughts to information provided by the environment. These results shed new light on the cognitive mechanisms underlying maladaptive self-referential thinking associated with dysphoria. More specifically, this specific cognitive mechanism might play a key role in the maintenance or amplification of a depressed mood.

Keywords
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention
  • Cognition
  • Depression/psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales/statistics & numerical data
  • Reaction Time
  • Self Report
  • Thinking
Citation (ISO format)
ROCHAT, Lucien, BILLIEUX, Joel, VAN DER LINDEN, Martial. Difficulties in disengaging attentional resources from self-generated thoughts moderate the link between dysphoria and maladaptive self-referential thinking. In: Cognition and emotion, 2012, vol. 26, n° 4, p. 748–757. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2011.613917
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Article (Published version)
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Identifiers
ISSN of the journal0269-9931
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