New Research From Clinical Psychological Science

Interpretation Bias in Paranoia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Antonella Trotta, Jungwoo Kang, Daniel Stahl, and Jenny Yiend

People with the tendency to interpret ambiguous information negatively appear to show more paranoia. Trotta and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 20 studies that tested for the association between interpretation bias and paranoid thoughts in participants with and without a clinical diagnosis. Among both the clinical and nonclinical samples, participants who interpreted environmental information more negatively appeared to be more prone to paranoia and to have more severe symptoms of paranoia.

Physical- and Cognitive-Effort-Based Decision-Making in Depression: Relationships to Symptoms and Functioning
Tanya Tran, Amanda E. F. Hagen, Tom Hollenstein, and Christopher R. Bowie

Motivational deficits can present different barriers to recovery from major depressive disorder (MDD) depending on the avoided type of effort. Participants completed physical and cognitive tasks in which they chose between low-effort, low-payoff scenarios and high-effort, high-payoff scenarios. They noted measures of cognitive functioning, life functioning, and symptom severity. Participants with higher anhedonia severity showed lower motivation for physical effort by preferring the low-effort physical scenarios over high-effort ones. Participants who preferred low-effort cognitive scenarios tended to have poorer life functioning. Thus, cognitive effort appears to be relevant to life functioning, whereas physical effort appears to be associated with anhedonia.

Losing Control: Sleep Deprivation Impairs the Suppression of Unwanted Thoughts
Marcus O. Harrington, Jennifer E. Ashton, Subbulakshmi Sankarasubramanian, Michael C. Anderson, and Scott A. Cairney

Successfully preventing unwanted memories from intruding on our days might require a good night of sleep. In the evening, participants rated how different scenes made them feel (e.g., unhappy vs. happy) and learned to associate each scene with a face. The following morning, after either an overnight sleep or total sleep deprivation, participants saw the faces framed in either green or red. They were instructed to suppress the memory of the corresponding scene when the face frame was red, which coincided with neutral and negative scenes. Relative to sleep-deprived participants, those who had slept the previous night were more successful in repressing unwanted scenes.

Does Distanced Self-Talk Facilitate Emotion Regulation Across a Range of Emotionally Intense Experiences?
Ariana Orvell, Brian D. Vickers, Brittany Drake, et al.

Distanced self-talk—using one’s name and non-first-person singular pronouns—appears to promote emotion regulation when people reflect on past and future negative experiences that vary in emotional intensity. Participants reflected on negative experiences using distanced self-talk (e.g., “Why are you feeling this way, [Name]?”) or immersed talk (e.g., “Why am I feeling this way?”). Compared to participants who used immersed talk, those who used distanced self-talk felt less negatively regardless of the type of negative experience (e.g., health, financial issues), the emotion involved (e.g., anger, frustration), and whether the experience already occurred or could occur in the future.

The Factor Structure of Social Cognition in Schizophrenia: A Focus on Replication With Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Machine Learning
Philipp Riedel, William P. Horan, Junghee Lee, Gerhard S. Hellemann, and Michael F. Green

Social cognition (the processes needed to use information for adaptive social interactions) might help to explain heterogeneity in functional outcomes in schizophrenia and develop interventions to improve functional recovery. Thus, Riedel and colleagues aimed to clarify the factor structure of social cognition in schizophrenia, using confirmatory factor analysis and machine learning. Results validated a three-factor model for social cognition—low-level (e.g., emotion recognition), high-level (e.g., empathy), and attributional bias factor (e.g., tendency to over-attribute hostile intentions to others). Each of these factors showed different patterns of correlation with clinical symptoms, nonsocial cognition, and functional outcomes.

Spontaneous Self-Distancing Mediates the Association Between Working Memory Capacity and Emotion Regulation Success
T. H. Stanley Seah, Lindsey M. Matt, and Karin G. Coifman

Seah and colleagues examined the association between working memory capacity (WMC) and self-distancing (indexed by the use of pronouns such as we instead of I) in relation to emotion regulation. Results indicated that, during a negative-mood induction, higher WMC predicted greater self-distancing, lower negative affect, and greater use of we pronouns, which predicted higher positive affect. These findings suggest the importance of WMC in forecasting adaptive emotion regulation, via self-distancing. This is consistent with the idea that adopting psychological distance may be related to better psychological functioning.

Trait Negative Affect Interacts With Ovarian Hormones to Predict Risk for Emotional Eating
Megan E. Mikhail, Pamela K. Keel, S. Alexandra Burt, et al.

High trait negative affect (NA) and specific ovarian hormone levels (low estradiol and high progesterone) increase the risk for emotional eating, this research suggests. Women provided saliva samples for hormone measurement and rated their NA and emotional eating daily for 45 days. Mikhail and colleagues found that women who reported NA regardless of the situation (i.e., trait NA) and had low estradiol and high progesterone were more likely to report emotional eating than others. Women with a clinical history of binge-eating episodes saw these effects amplified.

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