C. M. Kao, B. H. Dritschel, A. Astell



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British Journal of Clinical Psychology

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Objectives. We examined the effects of rumination and distraction on over-general autobiographical memory (AM) retrieval during social problem solving (SIPS), as well as SPS performance in terms of means and effectiveness. Design and Methods. After undergoing a rumination or distraction manipulation, dysphoric and non-dysphoric participants performed a SPS task and reported the memories retrieved during SPS. Results. The dysphoric ruminators performed significantly less effectively on the SPS task than the other groups. However, the dysphoric ruminators did not differ from the dysphoric distracters on the numbers of categoric memories retrieved during SPS although they retrieved significantly more categoric memories than the non-dysphoric distracters and non-dysphoric ruminators. For all groups, the effectiveness score was significantly negatively correlated with categoric memories retrieved during SPS. Conclusion. The results demonstrated that in a dysphoric sample, rumination impaired SPS performance but did not influence categoric AM retrieval during SPS. The results suggested that in a dysphoric sample, rumination might affect SPS performance by affecting processes like initiation and motivation rather than AM retrieval during SPS.