Prior experimental manipulations of ruminative and distractive response style have not included psychophysiological measures or investigated the statistical relation between rumination and the conceptually-related constructs of worry and neuroticism. Dysphoric (n = 84) and nondysphoric participants (n = 86) were randomly assigned to either a rumination task (i.e., self-focused attention) or a distraction task. Results supported prior findings that distraction and rumination differentially impact depressed mood in dysphoric individuals; dysphoric ruminators reported significantly higher levels of postexperiment depressed mood than did dysphoric distractors, even after neuroticism, worry, or response style were included in the empirical model. However, post-rumination worry ratings were significantly higher than postdistraction worry ratings, regardless of initial dysphoria status. Of the psychophysiological responses measured, a significant difference in postrumination systolic blood pressure was found between nondysphoric men (M = 119.88; SE = 1.29) and nondysphoric women (M = 114.88; SE = 1.20). The implications of these results for future response style studies are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Clinical Psychology