Effects of interpretation bias modification on unregulated and regulated emotional reactivity

Bram Van Bockstaele, Lies Notebaert, Elske Salemink, Patrick J.F. Clarke, Colin MacLeod, Reinout W. Wiers, Susan M. Bögels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Although induced changes in interpretation bias can lead to reduced levels of stress reactivity, results are often inconsistent. One possible cause of the inconsistencies in the effects of interpretation bias modification (IBM) on stress reactivity is the degree to which participants engaged in emotion regulation while being exposed to stressors. In this study, we distinguished between the effects of IBM on natural, unregulated stress reactivity and the effects of IBM on people's ability to up- or downregulate this stress reactivity.

METHOD: Both in the context of general anxiety (Experiment 1, N = 59) and social anxiety (Experiment 2, N = 54), we trained participants to interpret ambiguous scenarios in either a positive or a negative manner, and we assessed the effects on unregulated and regulated stress reactivity.

RESULTS: Although we found relatively consistent training-congruent changes in interpretation bias in both experiments, these changes had no effect on either unregulated or regulated stress reactivity.

LIMITATIONS: In both experiments, we used healthy student samples and relatively mild emotional stressors.

CONCLUSIONS: In line with previous research, our findings suggest that the effects of IBM on unregulated stress reactivity may be small and inconsistent. Differences in the extent to which participants engaged in emotion regulation during stressor exposure are unlikely to account for these inconsistencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-132
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Volume64
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of interpretation bias modification on unregulated and regulated emotional reactivity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this