Self-focused attention and negative affect: A meta-analysis

Mor Nilly*, Jennifer Winquist

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

795 Scopus citations

Abstract

This meta-analysis synthesized 226 effect sizes reflecting the relation between self-focused attention and negative affect (depression, anxiety, negative mood). The results demonstrate the multifaceted nature of self-focused attention and elucidate major controversies in the field. Overall, self-focus was associated with negative affect. Several moderators qualified this relationship. Self-focus and negative affect were more strongly related in clinical and female-dominated samples. Rumination yielded stronger effect sizes than nonruminative self-focus. Self-focus on positive self-aspects and following a positive event were related to lower negative affect. Most important, an interaction between foci of self-attention and form of negative affect was found: Private self-focus was more strongly associated with depression and generalized anxiety, whereas public self-focus was more strongly associated with social anxiety.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)638-662
Number of pages25
JournalPsychological Bulletin
Volume128
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2002
Externally publishedYes

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