Negating in order to be negative: The relationship between depressive rumination, message content and negation processing

Dafna Haran, Nilly Mor*, Ruth Mayo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current research explored the interaction between brooding, a maladaptive subtype of depressive rumination, and content valence, in a basic cognitive process of negation. Following presentation of positive and negative trait descriptions, phrased affirmatively or negatively (e.g., "Liz is/is not a smart person"), participants' associations were examined for congruency with the schema (e.g., "smart") or with its negation (e.g., "stupid"). We predicted that brooders' processing of negations would enhance the accessibility of negative content. Consistent with our prediction, brooders generated schema-congruent associations for negatively valenced schemas, but negation-congruent associations for positively valenced schemas, thus, maintaining negative content in both cases. In contrast, nonbrooders generated associations congruent with the negation regardless of schema valence. This processing pattern is suggestive of a possible pathway for negative content perseveration in rumination, and it attests to the context and person sensitivity of the negation process.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1105-1111
Number of pages7
JournalEmotion
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

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