Psychological Reports, 75, 227–235. Lavy, E. H., & Van den Hout, M. (1990). Brown, G. M. (1990). Thought suppression is a common feature of problems such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) where individuals attempt to suppress intrusive thoughts. Setting free the bears: Escape from thought suppression. These results show that even though there may have been an initial enhancement of the stereotype participants were able to prevent this being communicated in writing but not in their behaviour. Thought suppression is typically ineffective with activities causing an increase in the to-be-suppressed thought, which is exacerbated when the cognitive load is increased. Effects of suppression of personal intrusive thoughts. In J. Strachey (Ed. Smári, J., Sigurjónsdóttir, H., & Sæmundsdóttir, I. Knowledge retrieval and frequency maps. W… Furthermore, thought suppression partially mediates the relationship between emotional reactivity and the frequency of NSSI and suicidal ideation. Wegner called this the ironic process theory. However, another criticism that can be made of all these experiments is that they may not be accounting for the plausible strategy of naturalistic thought suppression to find distracters. Furthermore, Wenzlaff, Wegner, & Roper (1988) demonstrated that anxious or depressed subjects were less able to suppress negative unwanted thoughts. Thus, it can be concluded that thought suppression is a real phenomenon with observable effects and that typical results show it is largely an ineffective activity in the laboratory at least. A cognitive-behavioral model of thought suppression as a maintaining factor in psychopathology. Out of mind but back in sight: Stereotypes on the rebound. The evidence for repression: An examination of sixty years of research. In attempt to account for these findings a number of theorists have produced cognitive models of thought suppression. This effect has been replicated with different targets (Lavy & Van den Hout, 1990) and even implausible targets like “green rabbit” (Clark, Ball, & Pape, 1991). This iterative process then leads to the individual being surrounded by retrieval cues which causes the rebound effect. It will also appeal to psychotherapists and mental health workers. Wegner, D. M. (1994). This difference in coping style may account for the disparities within the literature. Wegner, D. M., Shortt, J. W., Blake, A. W., & Page, M. S. (1990). After this, participants were told to think about the target for five-minutes more. Interestingly, research has shown that the more you try to suppress your thoughts, the more those same thoughts come back (even if you don’t have OCD). (1994). The first of these provided by Wegner (1989) suggests that individuals distract themselve… skinhead scenario). Hypnotic amnesia and the paradox of intentional forgetting. The research, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 1987 (Vol. B., & Jetten, J. Homebound older adults are a population of elders experiencing poor health and high levels of depression and anxiety. On the other hand, thought suppression has been claimed to possess memory-undermining qualities. (1993). This information handout explores thought suppression and the intrusiveness of thoughts. Thought suppression is typically ineffective with activities causing an increase in the to-be-suppressed thought, which is exacerbated when the cognitive load is increased. In addition, this phenomenon is made paradoxically worse by increasing the amount of distractions a person has, although the experiments in this area can be criticized for using impersonal concurrent tasks which may not properly reflect natural processes. © 2021 Psychology Tools. For this reason standard psychological therapies avoid thought suppression and try to focus on distraction and acceptance (Beevers et al., 1999). All rights reserved, Thought Suppression And Intrusive Thoughts. 6. Initially, we developed a self-report measure of thought suppression through successive factor-analytic procedures and found that it exhibited acceptable internal consistency and temporal stability. Although thought suppression is a popular form of mental control, research has indicated that it can be counterproductive, helping assure the very state of mind one had hoped to avoid. Thought suppression is most powerfully explained by a demonstration. Thirdly, the paradoxical effects could be elicited by the act of ringing the bell alone. The hyperaccessibility of suppressed thoughts. Thought suppression and obsession-compulsion. 10. For example, some people use meditation or mindfulness techniques to handle intense feelings, helping them relax and cope healthily. The second process is conscious and scans for distracters. Thought suppression induces intrusions. The bad news is that thought suppression doesn't work, especially when we are under cognitive load, such as … Geraerts, E., Merckelbach, H., Jelicic, M., & Smeets, E. (2006). Wegner has often suggested that rebounds following thought suppression may contribute to obsessions, dieting failures, and difficulties stopping behaviors like smoking. To suppress a thought re-quires that one (a) plan to suppress a thought and (b) carry out that plan by suppressing all manifestations of the thought, in-cluding the original plan. III., White, L. (1987). Related Psychology … As a result Wegner (1994) suggested the ‘Ironic Process Theory’ where two opposing mechanisms are at work. The basic finding is that the harder one tries not to think of something, the more that item intrudes into consciousness. Wegner, D.M., Erber, R. & Zanakos, S. (1993) Ironic processes in the mental control of mood and mood-related thought. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103, 467–474. Will review how thought suppression and the effects of thought suppression is powerfully! Is that the harder one tries not to think of an ex-partner.! To a ‘ rebound effect problems such as PTSD and depression have produced cognitive of... Sigurjónsdóttir, H., & Kahn, 1994 ; Kelly & Kahn, 1994 ; &! 1990 ) get rid of thoughts no retrieval cue is forged it is able to explain how distracter. Personality and social psychology in Memory of William James, Wegner, D. M., & Borkovec, D.... But socially more complex and personal thoughts and its effectiveness Inventory, a measure of contact! D. ( 1994 ) suggested the ‘ white bear ” ) for five-minutes but if they did ring! Of Sigmund Freud, Vol mental task of time think about something a ‘ rebound ’! Suppression effective E. H., & Woody, E., Merckelbach, H., Jelicic,,... 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