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Stop Rules: Mood & Perseverative Thinking Graham Davey University of Sussex, UK

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Presentation on theme: "Stop Rules: Mood & Perseverative Thinking Graham Davey University of Sussex, UK"— Presentation transcript:

1 Stop Rules: Mood & Perseverative Thinking Graham Davey University of Sussex, UK Follow me on Twitter at:

2 Collaborators Frances Meeten Suzanne Dash Fergal Jones Benie MacDonald Helen Startup Gary Britton Jack Hawksley Jason Chan Chris Brewin

3 Introduction Perseveration is a defining element of many psychopathologies Examples include worrying (GAD), checking (OCD), rumination (in major depression) Perseverative activities are usually ‘neutralizing’ activities Linked to meta-cognitive and global beliefs about how to deal with distressing emotions

4 What is mood-as-input? Stop Rules The Role of Mood as Information Vulnerability of Clinical populations to using Mood as Information

5 What are ‘stop rules’? Relate to Task Motivation Performance Focused OR Task Focused Decision Rules ‘As Many as Can’ (AMA) OR ‘Feel Like Continuing’ (FL)

6 AMAFL Worry Stop Rule Check List I must find a solution to this problem, so keep thinking about it. I must try and think about the worst possible outcome, just in case it happens I must think everything through properly What’s done is done, so what’s the point in worrying? I don’t have time to think about this now Stop worrying, things always work out for the best.

7 The Catastrophizing Interview 1.I ’ m worried about not being able to move 2.That I would be attacked in some way 3.That I would not be able to fight back 4.That I would not be able to control what other people did to me 5.That I would feel inadequate 6.That other people would begin to think I was inadequate 7.That in my relationship with those people I would not be respected 8.That I would not have any influence over others 9.That other people would not listen to me 10.That it would cause a loss of self-esteem 11.That this loss of self-esteem would have a negative effect on my relationships with others 12.That I would lose friends 13.That I would be alone 14.That I would have no-one to talk to 15.Because it would mean that I would not be able to share any thoughts/problems with other people 16.That I would not get advice from others 17.That none of my problems would be adequately sorted out 18.That they would remain and get worse 19.That eventually I would not be able to cope with them 20.That eventually my problems would have more control over me than I had over them 21.That they would prevent me from doing other things 22.That I would be unable to meet new people and make friends 23.That I would be lonely

8 What do we know about stop rules? Often not easily verbalizable Can often be derived from dispositional characteristics or meta-beliefs about emotional control strategies Stop Rules represent the way that metacognitive beliefs are operationalized Stop rule type is linked to mood Stop rules interact with mood to determine perseveration at a task (the ‘Mood-as-Input Hypothesis’, Davey, 2006, Meeten & Davey, 2011).

9 Stop Rules & Psychopathology High Worriers more likely to endorse AMA Stop Rules (Davey et al., 2005) Deployment of AMA stop rules is increased with Negative or Distressed Mood (Dash & Davey, 2012) Clinically Depressed individuals report preferential use of AMA stop rules for Rumination (Chan, Davey & Brewin, 2013) BDI Scores are significantly associated with AMA use for Rumination (Vappling et al., unpub)

10 Dash & Davey (2012) Mood & Worrying Stop Rules

11 Britton & Davey (2011) Mood & Checking Stop Rules

12 Stop Rules & Depressive Rumination Chan, Davey & Brewin, 2013

13 Stop Rules & Metacognitive Beliefs Positive Beliefs about Rumination predict AMA stop rule use (Chan, Davey & Brewin, 2013) Positive Beliefs (but not Negative Beliefs) about Rumination predict Rumination length (Meeten et al., submitted) Positive Beliefs (but not Negative Beliefs) about Worry are predicted by Negative Mood (Adams et al., unpublished)

14 Stop Rule interaction with Mood Hawksley & Davey, 2010

15 Mood-as-input & Clinical Populations Negative moods and ‘perfectionist’ styles are common – so why don’t most people acquire perseverative psychopathologies? What is special about clinical populations that puts them at risk of developing perseverative psychopathologies?

16 Factors affecting the informational value of mood The discounting hypothesis (Schwarz & Clore, 1983) Knowledge & Expertise Cognitive Load (Siemer & Reisenzein (1998)

17 Knowledge & Expertise: The Example of Worry Clinical Populations possess characteristics that potentially impair an objective assessment of solutions for worries: o Poor problem-solving confidence (Davey, 1994) o Feelings of Personal Inadequacy (Davey & Levy, 1998) o Possess an Intolerance of Uncertainty (Dugas et al., 2004) o Have a Narrow Negative Focus (Gasper & Clore, 2002) o Possess an Avoidance Coping Style (Davey, 1993)

18 Low Problem-Solving Confidence & Worry Individuals low on Problem-Solving Confidence are more likely to deploy AMA Stop Rules Individuals low on Problem-Solving Confidence are more likely to show a strong correlation between mood and ratings of goal attainment in a social problem-solving task

19 Implications for Interventions Socialization to the Mood-as-Input Model: Explain the Dynamics of how Stop Rules interact with Mood Identify any AMA Stop Rules and help the Client to change those Rules Help the Client to become aware of Negative Moods and find ways to Manage those Moods

20 A brief 4-session intervention for high worriers Dash et al., submitted

21 Conclusions Goal-Guided Stop Rules can be Identified in Many Types of Perseverative Psychopathology Stop Rules are linked to Positive Metacognitive Beliefs Stop Rules interact with Concurrent Mood to generate perseveration Clinical Populations possess characteristics that will tend them towards using Mood as Information Interventions that target Stop Rules and Negative Mood can successfully reduce Symptoms


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