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ERIC Number: EJ987162
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-0033-2933
An Experimental Investigation of Cognitive Defusion
Pilecki, Brian C.; McKay, Dean
Psychological Record, v62 n1 p19-40 Win 2012
The current study compared cognitive defusion with other strategies in reducing the impact of experimentally induced negative emotional states. Sixty-seven undergraduates were assigned to one of three conditions (cognitive defusion, thought suppression, or control) and instructed in standardized approaches relevant to each condition before viewing film clips intended to elicit fear, sadness, and disgust. Participants then rated their experience of each emotion and completed a Stroop task intended to indirectly measure emotional arousal. While participants did not show any differences in their experience of emotions through self- report, significant differences on the Stroop task provided evidence of varying degrees of arousal between participants using defusion, suppression, and control strategies, with thought suppression and defusion showing the greatest reduction in arousal. These findings were retained after controlling for individual differences in negative affect and suggest that defusion is an effective strategy for reducing emotional distress but raise questions about the specific mechanisms involved in the process. (Contains 2 tables and 2 figures.)
Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Mailcode 4609, Rehabilitation Institute, Carbondale, IL 62901-4609. Tel: 618-536-7704; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A