Advertisement

Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 209–216 | Cite as

Social Rejection: How Best to Think About It?

  • Stephanie S. Rude
  • Francesco A. Mazzetti
  • Hoimonti Pal
  • Melissa R. Stauble
Original Article

Abstract

College students who wrote about the abstract context of a recent social rejection (e.g., “How do you think you will view this event in 1–2 years?”) subsequently reported lower levels of depression and rumination symptoms than those who wrote about the abstract reasons or implications (e.g., “Why do you think this happened?”) or those given no writing instructions. A third group who wrote about concrete aspects of their experience (e.g., “As you recall the event, what physical sensations do you notice?”) had lower rumination scores than the no-writing control. Results are discussed in terms of the relative contributions of level of abstraction, contextual focus, and negative self-judgment in emotional processing.

Keywords

Social rejection Depression Processing modes Rumination Emotional processing Emotion regulation Abstract evaluative Contextual Concrete Experiential 

References

  1. Ayduk, O., & Kross, E. (2008). Enhancing the pace of recovery: Self-distanced analysis of negative experiences reduces blood pressure reactivity. Psychological Science, 3, 229–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., & Garbin, M. G. (1988). Psychometric properties of the beck depression inventory: Twenty-five years of evaluation. Clinical Psychology Review, 8, 77–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beck, A. T., Ward, C. H., Mendelson, M., Mock, J., & Erbaugh, J. (1961). An inventory for measuring depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 4, 561–571.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Gortner, E. M., Rude, S. S., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2006). Benefits of expressive writing in lowering rumination and depressive symptoms. Behavior Therapy, 37, 292–303.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gross, J. J., & John, O. P. (2003). Individual differences in two emotion regulation processes: Implications for affect, relationships, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 348–362.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hedlund, S., & Rude, S. S. (1995). Evidence of latent depressive schemata in formerly depressed individuals. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 104(3), 517–525.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hunt, M. (1998). The only way out is through: Emotional processing and recovery after a depressing life event. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 36(4), 361–384.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kross, E., & Ayduk, O. (2008). Facilitating adaptive emotional analysis: Distinguishing distanced-analysis of depressive experiences from immersed-analysis and distraction. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(7), 924–938.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kross, E., Ayduk, O., & Mischel, W. (2005). When asking ‘Why’ does not hurt: Distinguishing rumination from reflective processing of negative emotions. Psychological Science, 16(9), 709–715.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kuehner, C., & Weber, I. (1999). Responses to depression in unipolar depressed patients: An investigation of Nolen-Hoeksema’s response styles theory. Psychological Medicine, 29(6), 1323–1333.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Low, C. A., Stanton, A. L., & Bower, J. E. (2008). Effects of acceptance-oriented versus evaluative emotional processing on heart rate recovery and habituation. Emotion, 8(3), 419–424.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Moberly, N., & Watkins, E. (2006). Processing mode influences the relationship between trait rumination and emotional vulnerability. Behavior Therapy, 37(3), 281–291.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Nolan, S., Roberts, J., & Gotlib, I. (1998). Neuroticism and ruminative response style as predictors of change in depressive symptomatology. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 22(5), 445–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (1991). Responses to depression and their effects on the duration of depressive episodes. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100(4), 569–582.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2000). The role of rumination in depressive disorders and mixed anxiety/depressive symptoms. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 109(3), 504–511.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Morrow, J. (1991). A prospective study of depression and posttraumaticstress symptoms after a natural disaster: The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 115–121.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pennebaker, J. W. (1989). Confession, inhibition, and disease. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 22, 211–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pennebaker, J. (1997). Opening up: The healing power of expressing emotions (Rev. ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  19. Pennebaker, J. W., Francis, M. E., & Booth, R. J. (2001). Linguistic inquiry and word count (LIWC): LIWC2001. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum Publishers.Google Scholar
  20. Pennebaker, J., & O’Heeron, R. (1984). Confiding in others and illness rate among spouses of suicide and accidental-death victims. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 93(4), 473–476.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rimes, K. A., & Watkins, E. (2005). The effects of self-focused rumination on global negative self-judgments in depression. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 43(12), 1673–1681.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Roberts, J., Gilboa, E., & Gotlib, I. (1998). Ruminative response style and vulnerability to episodes of dysphoria: Gender, neuroticism, and episode duration. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 22(4), 401–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rude, S. S., Covich, J., Jarrold, W., Hedlund, S., & Zenter, M. (2001). Detecting depressive schemata in vulnerable individuals: Questionnaires versus laboratory tasks. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 25, 103–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rude, S. S., Durham-Fowler, J. A., Baum, E. S., Rooney, S. B., & Maestas, K. L. (in press). Self-report and cognitive processing measure of depressive thinking predict subsequent major depressive disorder. Cognitive Therapy and Research. Google Scholar
  25. Rude, S. S., Gortner, E. M., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2004). Language use of depressed and depression-vulnerable college students. Cognition and Emotion, 18, 1121–1133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rude, S., Maestas, K., & Neff, K. (2007). Paying attention to distress: What’s wrong with rumination? Cognition & Emotion, 21(4), 843–864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rude, S. S., Valdez, C., Odom, S., & Ebrahimi, A. (2003). Negative cognitive biases predict subsequent depression. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 27(4), 415–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Segal, Z. V., Williams, J. M. G., & Teasdale, J. D. (2002). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: A new approach to preventing relapse. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  29. Smyth, J. (1998). Written emotional expression: Effect sizes, outcome types, and moderating variables. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66(1), 174–184.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Stirman, S. W., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2001). Word use in the poetry of suicidal and nonsuicidal poets. Psychosomatic Medicine, 63, 517–522.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Watkins, E. (2004). Adaptive and maladaptive ruminative self-focus during emotional processing. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 42(9), 1037–1052. Festschrift special issue for John Teasdale.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Watkins, E. R. (2008). Constructive and unconstructive repetitive thought. Psychological Bulletin, 134(2), 163–206.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Watkins, E., Moberly, N. J., & Moulds, M. L. (2008). Processing mode causally influences emotional reactivity: Distinct effects of abstract versus concrete construal on emotional response. Emotion, 8(3), 364–378.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Watkins, E., & Moulds, M. (2005). Distinct modes of ruminative self-focus: Impact of abstract versus concrete rumination on problem solving in depression. Emotion, 5(3), 319–328.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Watkins, E., & Teasdale, J. D. (2001). Rumination and over general memory in depression: Effect of self focus and analytic thinking. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 110(2), 353–357.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Watkins, E., & Teasdale, J. D. (2004). Adaptive and maladaptive self-focus in depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 82(1), 1–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Watkins, E., Teasdale, J. D., & Williams, R. M. (2003). Contextual questions prevent mood primes from maintaining experimentally induced dysphoria. Cognition and Emotion, 17(3), 455–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Weiss, D. S., & Marmar, C. R. (1997). The impact of event scale—revised. In J. P. Wilson & T. M. Keane (Eds.), Assessing psychological trauma and PTSD (pp. 399–411). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  39. Wenzlaff, R. (1993). The mental control of depression: Psychological obstacles to emotional well-being. In D. M. Wegner & J. W. Pennebaker (Eds.), Handbook of mental control (pp. 239–257). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.Google Scholar
  40. Wenzlaff, R., Wegner, D., & Roper, D. (1988). Depression and mental control: The resurgence of unwanted negative thoughts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55(6), 882–892.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie S. Rude
    • 1
  • Francesco A. Mazzetti
    • 1
  • Hoimonti Pal
    • 1
  • Melissa R. Stauble
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

Personalised recommendations