The effects of mindfulness versus thought suppression instruction on the appraisal of emotional and neutral pictures
AbstractThe present study investigated the effects of brief mindfulness and thought suppression instructions on the appraisal of emotional (positive and negative) and neutral pictures. It was expected that mindfulness would promote positive emotional reactions toward picture stimuli, whereas thought suppression would promote negative emotional reactions. Sixty participants were randomly assigned to one of the three conditions (mindfulness, thought suppression, control). In each condition, participants rated emotional and neutral pictures on two 9-point scales, one pertaining to picture valence and the other to picture arousal. Contrary to what was expected, the present study revealed no effects of mindfulness on dealing with emotions provoked by emotional and neutral pictures. Thought suppression, on the other hand, was found to be a successful strategy in dealing with emotions provoked by negative pictures. It is suggested that thought suppression is a successful short-term emotion regulation strategy for dealing with negative emotions of low intensity.
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