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Comparing thought suppression and mindfulness as coping techniques for spider fear

Hooper, Nic, Davies, Nathan, Davies, Laura and McHugh, Louise 2011. Comparing thought suppression and mindfulness as coping techniques for spider fear. Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4) , pp. 1824-1830. 10.1016/j.concog.2011.05.013

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The current study compared thought suppression, focused attention (mindfulness) and unfocused attention as strategies for managing spider fear. Spider fearful participants were exposed to a strategy induction before completing a Behavioural Approach Test (BAT). The BAT is a 10 step measurement of how close participants are willing to move towards a spider. Participants were instructed to use what they learned in the pre-BAT induction to help them advance through the steps of the BAT. The results of the study indicated that participants given the thought suppression or the unfocused attention induction moved through significantly less steps of the BAT than did those given the focused attention (mindful) induction. Additionally, the thought suppression group felt significantly more anxious than the focused and unfocused attention groups following completion of the BAT. These results are discussed in terms of the impact of thought suppression on avoidance behaviour in phobias.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1053-8100
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2022 14:30

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