Always approach the bright side of life: A general positivity training reduces stress reactions in vulnerable individuals
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Number of pages
SourceCognitive Therapy and Research, 40, 1, (2016), pp. 57-71
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
SW OW PsKI [owi]
Cognitive Therapy and Research
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment; Radboudumc 6: Metabolic Disorders RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Emotional disorders are characterized by cognitive biases towards negative stimuli, and a lack of biases towards positive ones. Therefore, we developed a cognitive bias modification training, modifying approach-avoidance tendencies to diverse emotional pictures. In Study 1, a negative training (pull negative, push positive pictures) was compared to a positive training (vice versa) in 141 students. The pre-existing positivity bias remained after positive training, but reversed into a negativity bias after negative training. This effect transferred to an attentional bias. The training affected neither mood nor emotional vulnerability to stress. In Study 2, we investigated the effects of the positive training in 102 dysphoric and non-dysphoric students, all in a sad mood state. Compared to placebo training, the positive training strengthened a positivity bias, and it reduced emotional vulnerability in dysphoric students. This suggests potential therapeutic value of the training, but further studies are needed.
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