Hidden Complications of Thought Suppression

Abstract
Although the suppression of thoughts may seem to be an effective solution when thoughts are unwanted, this strategy can lead to a recurrence of the very thought that one is attempting to suppress. This ironic effect is the most obvious unwanted outcome of suppression and has been investigated empirically for more than two decades. However, even when suppression does not lead to an ironic rebound of the unwanted thought, it puts an insidious cognitive load on the individual attempting to suppress. Moreover, whether or not suppression leads to an exacerbation of the unwanted thought, it is rarely successful, and hence adds to the individual’s distress. In this article we describe the consequences of suppression and consider how it might complicate a range of emotional disorders. Taken together, studies on thought suppression in psychopathology present a more nuanced picture now than was emerging in the early years of its investigation. Some evidence is consistent with the idea that the counterproductive effects of suppression are causally implicated in disorders, but a more parsimonious conclusion is that thought suppression often acts as a complication of disorders. In certain disorders, suppression complicates the disorder by leading to an ironic rebound of the unwanted thoughts. In all disorders, the cost of undertaking suppression is a persistent cognitive load, which undermines the ability to suppress and sets off a cycle of failed expectations and distress.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,371
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-12-22

Total downloads

8 ( #172,718 of 1,102,882 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #297,281 of 1,102,882 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.