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Title

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

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Published in Cognition & emotion. 2012, vol. 26, no. 4, p. 748-757
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 AdolescentAdultAttentionCognitionDepression/psychologyFemaleHumansIndividualityInternal-External ControlMalePsychiatric Status Rating Scales/statistics & numerical dataReaction TimeSelf ReportThinking
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PMID: 21972982
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Research group Unité de psychopathologie et neuropsychologie cognitive (UPNC)
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ROCHAT, Lucien, BILLIEUX, Joël, 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 & emotion, 2012, vol. 26, n° 4, p. 748-757. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:29503

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Deposited on : 2013-08-30

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