ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2007, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (01): 78-87.

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  1. 中山大学心理学系,广州 510275
  • 收稿日期:2006-02-24 修回日期:1900-01-01 出版日期:2007-01-30 发布日期:2007-01-30
  • 通讯作者: 黄敏儿

Effects of Rumination and Distraction on Negative Emotion and Autobiographical Memory


  1. Department of Psychology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, China
  • Received:2006-02-24 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2007-01-30 Published:2007-01-30
  • Contact: Huang Miner

摘要: 探讨在诱发了抑郁、焦虑、悲伤等负性情绪后,沉思和分心对正常成人的情绪主观报告、生理变化和自传体记忆的作用。64名被试被随机分为两组,用故事和电影短片分别诱发了负性和中性(控制组)两种情绪状态。然后进行随机分组,分别进行分心和沉思的反应任务。测量四组被试的情绪主观报告、生理变化以及多种形式和性质的自传体记忆。结果表明:(1)沉思和分心对这些负情绪的调节作用不显著;(2)沉思引起更多的负性记忆,正性复合指数更小,自传体记忆的具体性更弱。结论:沉思导致更多负性记忆,维持了概括性记忆,更有可能加重已经激活的负情绪

关键词: 沉思, 分心, 自传体记忆, 负情绪

Abstract: Nolen-Hoeksema proposed a response style theory in 1987, which claimed that distraction would be more effective in alleviating a depressed mood than rumination. On the basis of this theory, a variety of studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of rumination and distraction. It is consistently suggested that rumination may lead individuals to recall more negative autobiographical memory and run into a kind of negative vicious circle, and then maintain and exacerbate depressed mood. However, the effects of rumination on physiological responses have been rarely discussed, and no significant differences between ruminating and distracting participants have been found so far. The present study investigated the effects of rumination and distraction on normal adults’ emotional subjective reports, physiological response and autobiographical memory when they were facing negative mood after emotion induction in laboratory. It was hypothesized that rumination would exacerbate ongoing negative mood and lead to more negative general autobiographical memories than distraction response according to previous studies.
Seventy-two participants were recruited and 64 participants’ data were analyzed. During the experiment, participants were randomly divided into two groups. A dysphoric mood was induced in one half of them and a nondysphoric mood was induced in another half with stories and movie clips created by researchers. The participants were then randomly assigned to rumination and distraction tasks. Emotional subjective reports were filled in after adaptation phase of physiological device (BIOPAC MP150wsw), emotion induction and response style task. Physiological responses and autobiographical memory data were also collected. Repeated measures ANOVA and 2´2 factorial ANOVA were mainly used for data analysis after raw data transformation.
The results showed that, after inducing dysphoric emotions in the laboratory and asking them to participate in the response style tasks, response style had no effects on participants’ negative emotion and physiological responses but rumination/negative group retrieved more negative general autobiographical memories, while distraction reduced general autobiographical memory. The results of negative emotion did not support the hypothesis but the results of autobiographical memories did. The physiological results were consistent with previous studies.
When negative mood was induced, rumination led individuals retrieve more negative moods, maintained general autobiographical memory and then likely exacerbated negative mood. This study extended Nolen-Hoeksema and many other researchers’ findings and supported Nolen-Hoeksema’s response style theory. Rumination seemed to have both positive and negative effects. When the participants’ dysphoric emotions were induced in the laboratory, which was unstable, and didn’t meet the clinical criterion, the analytical and evaluative thinking component of rumination would function dominantly and improve participants’ negative moods. The components of rumination should be examined in future studies.

Key words: rumination, distraction, autobiographical memory, negative mood