The effects of rumination and distraction tasks on psychophysiological responses and mood in dysphoric and nondysphoric individuals

Kristin S. Vickers, Nancy D. Vogeltanz-Holm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-348
Number of pages18
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2003

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Psychophysiology
  • Rumination
  • Worry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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