Kathleen Corcoran

Publication Details

  • Effects of suppression and appraisals on thought frequency and distress BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH AND THERAPY Corcoran, K. M., Woody, S. R. 2009; 47 (12): 1024-1031


    Cognitive theories of obsessions highlight appraisals of personal significance and thought suppression in the development and maintenance of intrusive thoughts. The current study examined the role of personal significance within the context of a thought suppression paradigm. The primary aim was to examine whether suppression would have differential effects for target thoughts appraised as personally meaningful versus relatively unimportant. A blasphemous thought served as the target thought, and highly religious and nonreligious participants were recruited. Participants completed a two-interval thought suppression task; during interval 1 they were randomly assigned to suppress or not suppress the target thought and during interval 2, all participants were given "do not suppress" instructions. Suppression resulted in sustained frequency of thoughts in contrast to the decline in thought frequency observed for non-suppression. Differential effects of suppression were found across the two groups. Moreover, suppression was associated with increased negative mood and anxiety. Results suggest that suppression of personally meaningful thoughts is a counterproductive strategy.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.brat.2009.07.023

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272057800005

    View details for PubMedID 19765684

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