Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 713–724 | Cite as

Why are Depressive Individuals Indecisive? Different Modes of Rumination Account for Indecision in Non-clinical Depression

  • Raffaella Di Schiena
  • Olivier Luminet
  • Betty Chang
  • Pierre Philippot
Original Article

Abstract

Individuals with depressive symptoms tend to adopt an abstract-analytical (A-A) rather than a concrete-experiential (C-E) mode of rumination. A large body of evidence shows that this leads to many deficits that are associated with depression (Watkins in Psychol Bull 134:163–206, 2008). In two studies, the present research examined whether indecision in a non-clinical population could also result from the mode of rumination adopted. In the first study, 174 participants completed measures of depressive symptoms, rumination, decision-making styles and indecision. The results of this study showed that indecision and one dysfunctional decision-making style (hyper-vigilance) significantly correlated with A-A rumination, even when controlling for depression. In a second study, 71 participants with mild to severe depressive symptoms (MSDs) and 49 participants with no to minimal depressive symptoms were trained to adopt either an A-A or a C-E rumination mode, and subsequently requested to make 10 choices. Consistent with the results of the first study, the results of the second study showed that participants in the A-A condition took longer to make their choice compared to participants in the C-E condition, irrespective of their level of depression. Moreover, the group of participants with MSDs experienced slightly more difficulty in decision making when they were in the A-A mode than in the C-E mode. This suggests that the A-A rumination mode could be an antecedent of indecision, whereas the C-E mode predicts its reduction. These interpretations are in line with the idea that A-A rumination is maladaptive and C-E rumination is adaptive.

Keywords

Rumination Modes of rumination Indecision Depression 

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, (4th ed., text revision). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
  2. Arnau, R. C., Meagher, M. W., Norris, M. P., & Bramson, R. (2001). Psychometric evaluation of the Beck Depression Inventory-II with primary care medical patients. Health Psychology, 20, 112–119.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baer, R. A. (2003). Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: A conceptual and empirical review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 125–143.Google Scholar
  4. Barnard, P., Watkins, E., Mackintosh, B., & Nimmo-Smith, I. (2007). Getting stuck in a mental rut: Some process and experiential attributes. Paper presented at the 35th congress of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, Brighton, England.Google Scholar
  5. Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., & Brown, G. K. (1996). The Beck depression inventory (2nd ed.). San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  6. Beswick, G., Rothblum, E. D., & Mann, L. (1988). Psychological antecedents to student procrastination. Australian Psychologist, 23, 207–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brislin, R. W. (1970). Back-translation for cross-cultural research. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1, 185–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burka, J. B., & Yuen, L. M. (1983). Procrastination: Why you do it, what to do about it. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  9. DeCoster, J. (2001). Transforming and restructuring data. Retrieved March 12, 2012 from http://www.stat-help.com/notes.html.
  10. Del Missier, F., Mäntylä, T., & Bruine de Bruin, W. (2010). Executive functions in decision making: An individual differences approach. Thinking and Reasoning, 16(2), 69–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Di Schiena, R., Luminet, O., & Philippot, P. (2010). Alexithymia and ruminative thinking style in depression. Personality and Individual Differences, 50(1), 10–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Di Schiena, R., Luminet, O., Philippot, P., & Douilliez, C. (2012). Adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism in rumination: The role of adaptive and maladaptive rumination. Personality and Individual Differences, 53(6), 774–778.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Douilliez, C., Philippot, P., Heeren, A., Watkins, E., & Barnard, P. (2010). The Mini-CERTS (Cambridge-Exeter Repetitive Thought Scale): A Short Questionnaire to Assess Constructive and Unconstructive Repetitive Thinking. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  14. Elliott, R. (1998). The neuropsychological profile in unipolar depression. Trends in Cognitive Science, 2, 447–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Epstein, S., Pacini, R., Denes-Raj, V., & Heier, H. (1996). Individual differences in intuitive-experiential and analytical-rational thinking styles. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 390–405.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ferrari, J. R. (1991). Self-handicapping by procrastinators: Protecting self-esteem, social esteem, or both? Journal of Research in Personality, 25, 245–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fossati, P., Ergis, A. M., & Allilaire, J. F. (2002). Executive functioning in unipolar depression: A review. Encephale, 28(2), 97–107.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Frost, R. O., & Shows, D. L. (1993). The nature and measurement of compulsive indecisiveness. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 31, 683–692.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Germeijs, V., & De Boeck, P. (2002). A measurement scale for indecisiveness and its relationship to career indecision and other types of indecision. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 18, 113–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Heeren, A., & Philippot, P. (2011). Changes in ruminative thinking mediate the clinical benefits of mindfulness: Preliminary findings. Mindfulness, 2, 8–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Heeren, A., VanBroeck, N., & Philippot, P. (2009). The effects of mindfulness on executive processes and autobiographical memory specificity. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 47, 403–406.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jackson, C. J., Furnham, A., & Lawty-Jones, M. (1999). Relationship between indecisiveness and neuroticism: The moderating effect of a tough-minded culture. Personality and Individual Differences, 27, 789–800.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Janis, I. R., & Mann, L. (1977). Decision-making. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  24. Jha, A. P., Stanley, E. A., Kiyonaga, A., Wong, L., & Gelfand, L. (2010). Examining the protective effects of mindfulness training on working memory capacity and affective experience in a military cohort. Emotion, 10, 54–64.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Leykin, Y., & DeRubeis, R. J. (2010). Decision-making styles and depressive symptomatology. Judgment and Decision Making, 5, 506–515.Google Scholar
  26. Leykin, Y., Roberts, C. S., & DeRubeis, R. J. (2011). Decision-making and depressive symptomatology. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 35(4), 333–341.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mann, L., Burnett, P., Radford, M., & Ford, S. (1997). The Melbourne Decision Making Questionnaire: An instrument for measuring patterns for coping with decisional conflict. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 10(1), 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Marlatt, G. A., & Kristeller, J. L. (1999). Mindfulness and meditation. In W. R. Miller (Ed.), Integrating spirituality into treatment (pp. 67–84). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McCrea, S. M., Liberman, N., Trope, Y., & Sherman, S. J. (2008). Construal level and procrastination. Psychological Science, 19, 1308–1314.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Moberly, N. J., & Watkins, E. (2006). Processing mode influences the relationship between trait rumination an completely deleted d emotional vulnerability. Behavior Therapy, 37, 281–291.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (1991). Responses to depression and their effects on the duration of depressive episodes. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100, 569–582.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Philippot, P., & Brutoux, F. (2008). Induced rumination dampens executive processes in dysphoric young adults. Journal of Behaviour Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 39, 219–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Piolat, A., & Bannour, R. (2009). An example of text analysis software (EMOTAIX-Tropes) use: The influence of anxiety on expressive writing. Current Psychology Letters, 25, 2. URL: http://cpl.revues.org/index4879.html.
  34. Radford, M., Mann, L., & Kalucy, R. (1986). Psychiatric disturbance and decision making. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 20, 210–217.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Radford, M. H. B., Nakane, Y., Ohta, Y., Mann, L., & Kalucy, R. S. (1991). Decision making in clinically depressed patients: A transcultural social psychological study. Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, 179, 711–719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rassin, E., Muris, P., Franken, I., Smit, M., & Wong, M. (2007). Measuring general indecisiveness. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 29, 61–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rimes, K. A., & Watkins, E. (2005). The effects of self-focused rumination on global negative self-judgements in depression. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 43, 1673–1681.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Segal, Z., Teasdale, J., & Williams, M. (2002). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  39. Steer, R. A., Rissmiller, D. J., & Beck, A. T. (2000). Use of the Beck depression inventory-II with depressed geriatric inpatients. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 38, 311–318.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Teasdale, J. D., Segal, Z. V., & Williams, J. M. G. (1995). How does cognitive therapy prevent relapse and why should attentional control (mindfulness) training help? Behaviour Research and Therapy, 33, 225–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tranel, D., Anderson, S. W., & Benton, A. (1994). Development of the concept of “executive function” and its relationship to the frontal lobes. In F. Boller & J. Grafman (Eds.), Handbook of neuropsychology (pp. 125–148). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  42. Van Randenborgh, A., de Jong-Meyer, R., & Hüffmeier, J. (2010). Rumination fosters indecision in dysphoria. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 66, 229–248.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Ward, A. H., Lyubomirsky, S., Sousa, L., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2003). Can’t quite commit: Rumination and uncertainty. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 96–107.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Watkins, E. R. (2004). Adaptive and maladaptive ruminative self-focus during emotional processing. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 42, 1037–1052.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Watkins, E. (2008). Constructive and unconstructive repetitive thought. Psychological Bulletin, 134, 163–206.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Watkins, E., Baeyens, B. C., & Read, R. (2009). Concreteness training reduces dysphoria: Proof-of-principle for repeated cognitive bias modification in depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 118, 55–64.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Watkins, E., & Baracaia, S. (2002). Rumination and social problem-solving in depression. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 40, 1179–1189.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Watkins, E., & Brown, R. G. (2002). Rumination and executive function in depression: An experimental study. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 72, 400–402.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 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
  50. Watkins, E., & Moulds, M. L. (2005). Distinct modes of ruminative self-focus: Impact of abstract versus concrete rumination on problem solving in depression. Emotion, 5, 319–328.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Watkins, E., & Moulds, M. L. (2007). Revealing negative thinking in recovered major depression: A preliminary investigation. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 45, 3069–3076.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Watkins, E. R., Taylor, R. S., Byng, R., Baeyens, C., & Read, R. (2012). Guided self-help concreteness training as an intervention for major depression in primary care: A phase II randomized controlled trial. Psychological Medicine, 42(7), 1359–1371.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Watkins, E., & Teasdale, J. D. (2001). Rumination and over general memory in depression: Effects of self-focus and analytic thinking. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 110, 353–357.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Watkins, E., & Teasdale, J. D. (2004). Adaptive and maladaptive self-focus in depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 82, 1–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Way, B. M., Creswell, D., Eisenberger, N. I., & Lieberman, M. D. (2010). Dispositional mindfulness and depressive symptomatology: Correlations with limbinc and self-referential neural activity during rest. Emotion, 10, 12–24.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Williams, J. M. (2010). Mindfulness and psychological process. Emotion, 10(1), 1–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. World Health Organization. (1992). The ICD-10 classification of mental and behavioural disorders. Clinical descriptions and diagnostic guidelines. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  58. Zung, W. W., Richards, C. B., & Short, M. F. (1965). Self-rating depression in an outpatient clinic: Further validation of the SDS. Archives of General Psychiatry, 13, 508–515.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raffaella Di Schiena
    • 1
  • Olivier Luminet
    • 1
    • 2
  • Betty Chang
    • 3
  • Pierre Philippot
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of PsychologyUniversité Catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  2. 2.National Fund for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS)BrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations