A preliminary investigation into whether attentional bias influences mood outcomes following emotional disclosure

Vedhara, K., Brant, H., Adamopoulos, E. , Byrne-Davis, L., MacKintosh, B., Hoppitt, L., Tovée, Martin, Miles, J. and Pennebaker, J. W. (2010) A preliminary investigation into whether attentional bias influences mood outcomes following emotional disclosure. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 17 (3). pp. 195-206. ISSN 1070-5503

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-009-9072-2


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Background There is considerable interest in factors which may influence the efficacy of emotional disclosure. To date, a range of demographic and psychological variables have been considered. However, consideration has not yet been given to cognitive factors known to influence emotional processing such as attentional bias (AB). Purpose We present the results from an exploratory study examining the role of AB in influencing mood outcomes following emotional disclosure. Method Individuals with negative and avoidant ABs (i.e., individuals vigilant for and individuals avoidant of negative emotional material, respectively) were identified by asking 105 individuals to complete a standardized AB task. Individuals in the bottom quartile of AB scores were categorized as having a negative AB and individuals in the top quartile were categorized as having an avoidant AB. These participants (n=38) completed the emotional disclosure intervention and mood was assessed at 1, 4, and 8 weeks post-intervention. Results Negative AB individuals showed greater improvements in depression, anger, fatigue, and total mood disturbance. These results were unrelated to alexithymia. Conclusion These results provide preliminary support for the proposal that AB may influence the effects of emotional disclosure on mood.

Keywords:Attentional bias, Mood outcomes, Emotional disclosure, Negative AB, Avoidant AB
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C841 Health Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:24411
Deposited On:09 Jun 2017 08:48

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