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Different Patterns of Attention Bias in Worry and Rumination

  • Juyoen HurEmail author
  • Kelly Gaul
  • Howard Berenbaum
Original Article

Abstract

In two studies with college student participants, we explored the ways in which worry and rumination may be similar or distinct. Towards that end, as part of our research, we developed new laboratory measures of worry and rumination. In Study 1, we examined how the new lab instruments we developed differentiate worry versus rumination and initiation versus termination. We did so by comparing them with two other measurement methods of worry and rumination, ecological momentary assessment and questionnaires. We found that the laboratory measures were reasonably able to differentiate worry from rumination, but not initiation from termination. In Study 2, we further examined the relationship between attentional biases to threat/danger and loss/failure (using the dot probe task) and both worry and rumination to explore the nature of distinctions between worry and rumination. We found different patterns of attentional bias associated with worry and rumination. Worry was associated with bias away from threat. In contrast, rumination was associated with bias toward loss/failure. The results of the two studies suggest that there are some meaningful differences between worry and rumination. The implications of the current findings are discussed.

Keywords

Worry Rumination Attentional bias Threat Loss 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Juyoen Hur, Kelly Gaul and Howard Berenbaum declares that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Animal Rights

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 22 KB)
10608_2018_9993_MOESM2_ESM.sav (6 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (SAV 6 KB)
10608_2018_9993_MOESM3_ESM.sav (15 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (SAV 14 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Maryland, College ParkCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyRoosevelt UniversityChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA

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