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Chasing Clarity: Rumination as a Strategy for Making Sense of Emotions

Vine, Vera and Aldao, Amelia and Nolen-Hoeksema, Susan (2014) Chasing Clarity: Rumination as a Strategy for Making Sense of Emotions. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 5 (3). pp. 229-243. ISSN ISSN 2043-8087

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Research is needed on the affective mechanisms that motivate people to ruminate. One possibility is that some people might ruminate in response to deficits in emotional clarity because not knowing how they feel might be intolerable to them. We tested the hypothesis that the relationship between low emotional clarity and rumination would be moderated by intolerance of ambiguity. Participants in a longitudinal online study (N = 195) provided self- reports of intolerance of ambiguity and rumination and reported state emotional clarity following an idiographic mood induction; three weeks later they reported on rumination again. As predicted, participants with low emotional clarity at Time 1 ruminated more three weeks later, but only if they were intolerant of ambiguity. Findings support the notion that rumination sometimes functions as a search for answers about emotions. We discuss implications for understanding the affective disturbances perpetuating vicious cycles of rumination and for rumination-focused clinical interventions.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Vine, Veravjv10@pitt.eduvjv10
Aldao, Amelia
Nolen-Hoeksema, Susan
Date: 2014
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
Volume: 5
Number: 3
Publisher: TEXTRUM
Page Range: pp. 229-243
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.5127/jep.038513
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Psychiatry
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: ISSN 2043-8087
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2017 19:06
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2020 17:50


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