This research examines the effects of a cognitive bias modification procedure for facilitating inferential flexibility, on inferences, mood, and state rumination. Participants were presented with training scenarios, followed by two consecutive inferences for each scenario. In the training condition, participants repeatedly practiced shifting from a negative inference to a positive one. But in the control condition, the two inferences were of the same valence and no shifting occurred. The training successfully promoted the intended inferential shift on new scenarios (d = 0.72). Moreover, trained participants shifted away more readily from negative inferences for a future negative personal event (d = 1) and generated less negative inferences for this event (d = 0.61). As expected, the trained inferential shift improved mood and reduced state rumination. We discuss the potential to minimize adverse effects of negative inferences by shifting away from them to more positive inferences.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation ( ISF 1761/18 ) awarded to Nilly Mor.
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd
- Cognitive bias modification
- Cognitive style
- Inferential flexibility