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Social Rejection: How Best to Think About It?

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.

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Correspondence to Stephanie S. Rude.

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Rude, S.S., Mazzetti, F.A., Pal, H. et al. Social Rejection: How Best to Think About It?. Cogn Ther Res 35, 209–216 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-010-9296-0

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Keywords

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