PMID: 7993328Nov 1, 1994Paper

Effects of priming and suppression of worry

Behaviour Research and Therapy
Andrew Mathews, R Milroy


High and low worriers were primed by a short period of worry, suppression of worry, or the same period of non-worrying thought. Analysis of thoughts during the period following showed that worriers had more than twice as many unpleasant thoughts as did controls, across all prior conditions. Priming condition had little effect on this difference, although worry suppression was associated with a slight increase in the frequency of neutral or pleasant thoughts in high worriers, and a slight decrease in controls. These results are taken as evidence against the hypothesis that suppression of upsetting thoughts increases their intrusive quality, and thereby contributes to anxiety disorders.


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