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New Research From Clinical Psychological Science

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Read about latest research findings published inĀ Clinical Psychological Science:

Negative Self-Beliefs in Eating Disorders: A Cognitive-Bias-Modification Study

Jenny Yiend, Charlotte Parnes, Kirsty Shepherd, Mary-Kate Roche, and Myra J. Cooper

New research has suggested that negative self-beliefs play a role in eating disorder pathology, but the causal status of this relationship has not yet been established. Female participants underwent cognitive-bias-modification (CBM) training meant to manipulate eating disorder-relevant negative self-beliefs in a positive/neutral or a negative direction. Symptoms and behaviors related to eating disorders, depression, and anxiety were assessed before and after training and at a 1-week follow-up. Positive/neutral CBM training reduced the symptoms and behaviors, whereas negative CBM training failed to reduce them and in some cases made them worse. These findings indicate a potential causal role for negative self-belief in eating disorder pathology.

Common Prefrontal Regions Activate During Self-Control of Craving, Emotion, and Motor Impulses in Smokers

Golnaz Tabibnia, J. David Creswell, Thomas E. Kraynak, Cecilia Westbrook, Erica Julson, and Hilary A. Tindle

The vast majority of people who try to overcome an addiction relapse in the first year, so it is vital that we better understand the mechanisms underlying self-control. In this study, Tabibnia and colleagues examined the role of areas of the prefrontal cortex, particularly the inferior frontal cortex (IFC), in different types of self-control. Adult smokers underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while completing a motor-inhibitory control task and while completing tasks assessing their craving and emotion regulation. Two regions in the left IFC and one region of the presupplementary motor area were found to be activated during all of the self-control tasks, supporting the common-resource account of self-control.

Culture and the Remembering of Trauma

Laura Jobson, Ali Reza Moradi, Vafa Rahimi-Movaghar, Martin A. Conway, and Tim Dalgleish

The majority of studies investigating the role of autobiographical memory in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been conducted with Western participants; less is known about autobiographical memory in people with PTSD across cultures. In a series of studies, trauma survivors from Australia, Britain, and Iran who did or did not have PTSD completed the Autobiographical Memory Test, the Self-Defining Memory Task, and the Autobiographical Memory Questionnaire and provided trauma- and negative-memory narratives. The researchers found similar distortions in global autobiographical memory in people with PTSD across cultures. This research — some of the first to integrate PTSD theories with cross-cultural research examining autobiographical remembering — adds to our understanding of the relationship between PTSD and autobiographical memory.

Looking on the Dark Side: Rumination and Cognitive-Bias Modification

Paula Hertel, Nilly Mor, Chiara Ferrari, Olivia Hunt, and Nupur Agrawal

To elucidate the cognitive bases of self-reported ruminative tendencies, the authors trained female participants to assign ruminative or benign resolutions to ambiguous situations before providing their own resolutions to a new series of scenarios. They then performed a memory task in which they were asked to recall parts of the previously seen training and test scenarios. Participants in the ruminative-training condition provided more negative interpretations of the scenarios and had more negative memory intrusions when recalling the training and test scenarios than did participants in the benign-training group. These findings suggest a causal role for negative interpretation biases in ruminative thinking.