The Effects of Cognitive Defusion and Thought Distraction on Emotional Discomfort and Believability of Negative Self-referential Thoughts
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Previous research has shown that rapid vocal repetition of a one-word version of negative self-referential thought reduces the stimulus functions (e.g., emotional discomfort and believability) associated with that thought. The present study compares the effects of that defusion strategy with thought distraction and distraction-based experimental control tasks on a negative self-referential thought. Non-clinical undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of three protocols. The cognitive defusion condition reduced the emotional discomfort and believability of negative self-referential thoughts significantly greater than comparison conditions. Favorable results were also found for the defusion technique with participants with elevated depressive symptoms.
Masuda, A.,Twohig, M. P.,Stormo, A. R., Feinstein, A. B., Chou, Y, & Wendell, J. W. (2010). The effects of cognitive defusion and thought distraction on emotional discomfort and believability of negative self-referential thoughts. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 41, 11-17.