Stuck in a sad place: Biased attentional disengagement in rumination

Ben Grafton, F. Southworth, E. Watkins, Colin Macleod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
430 Downloads (Pure)


Previous research has demonstrated that heightened ruminative disposition is characterized by an attentional bias to depressogenic information at 1,000-ms exposure durations. However, it is unknown whether this attentional bias reflects facilitated attentional engagement with depressogenic information, or impaired attentional disengagement from such information. The present study was designed to address this question. In keeping with recent theoretical proposals, our findings demonstrate that heightened ruminative disposition is associated only with impaired attentional disengagement from depressogenic information, and does not involve facilitated attentional engagement with such information. In addition to resolving this key issue, the present study provided converging support for the previous claim that rumination-linked attentional bias is specific to depressogenic information, and also lends weight to the contention that rumination-linked attentional bias may be evident only when controlled attentional processing is readily permitted by using stimulus exposure durations of 1,000 ms. We discuss the theoretical implications of these findings and highlight key issues for future research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Early online date27 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


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