The Effects of Self-Focus on the Suppression of Personally Relevant Intrusive Thoughts

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Davies, Blossom Rachel
ETD; Self-awareness; Personally relevant intrusive thought; Thought suppression; Psychiatry and Psychology; Psychology; Legacy ETDs
thesis / dissertation description
It was hypothesized that inducing self-awareness (by the use of a mirror) following the suppression of a personally relevant intrusive thought would result in greater subsequent expression of the thought when compared to the control condition. The results replicated the previous findings by Kelly and Kahn (1994). There were no significant differences between the number of intrusive thoughts mentioned during expression of the intrusive thought by subjects who were induced to self-focus and those who were not. Possible reasons suggested for the absence of the rebound effect in the self-focus condition were: failure of the self-focus manipulation, subjects' misunderstanding or not following instructions, and the possibility that subjects' intrusive thoughts were not related to blocked goals. Finally, it was suggested that the lack of rebound effects for personally intrusive thoughts may be due to the cognitive complexity of such thoughts.