What is ironic thought suppression?

What is ironic thought suppression?

The ironic effect of thought suppression refers to the phenomenon in which individuals trying to rid their mind of a target thought ironically experience greater levels of occurrence and accessibility of the thought compared with individuals who deliberately concentrate on the thought (Wegner, 1994, doi:10.1037/0033- …

What is thought suppression in psychology?

Thought suppression occurs when we try to ignore or control intrusive thoughts that we find threatening or distressing. Thought suppression can be common in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Why thought suppression is counterproductive?

Wegner and his colleagues wrote that “the paradoxical effect of thought suppression is that it produces a preoccupation with the suppressed thought.” Wegner has often suggested that rebounds following thought suppression may contribute to obsessions, dieting failures, and difficulties stopping behaviors like smoking.

How do you stop suppressing thoughts?

Strategies for Unwanted Thoughts

  1. Choose a distractor and focus on that. If you’re given two things to think about, your concentration is fractured, and will give your brain a small break from focusing on the unwanted thought.
  2. Postpone the thought.
  3. Cut back on multitasking.
  4. Think about it.
  5. Meditation and mindfulness.

What is ironic mental processing?

Ironic process theory, ironic rebound, or the white bear problem refers to the psychological process whereby deliberate attempts to suppress certain thoughts make them more likely to surface. An example is how when someone is actively trying not to think of a white bear they may actually be more likely to imagine one.

Is thought suppression effective?

Roemer and Borkovec found that participants who suppressed anxious or depressing thoughts showed a significant rebound effect. Furthermore, Wenzlaff, Wegner, & Roper demonstrated that anxious or depressed subjects were less likely to suppress negative, unwanted thoughts.

What can intrusive thoughts lead to?

In this way, intrusive thoughts can have a detrimental impact on our mental health. They can be very upsetting, and in some cases can lead to depression, anxiety or OCD. The good news is that they can be successfully managed.

How do you accept intrusive thoughts?

Acknowledge the thought as being intrusive. Remind yourself that a thought can’t hurt you and isn’t always actionable. Don’t engage with the intrusive thought or try to dissect it. Allow the thought to pass by through observation instead of panic.

Is suppression a healthy defense mechanism?

Suppression is considered a mature defense mechanism, because it promotes healthy functioning in adults. As such, it belongs to the top of the hierarchy of defense maturity and adaptedness (Blaya et al. 2007; Vaillant 1985).

When was Wegner’s theory of thought suppression published?

The research, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 1987 (Vol. 53, No. 1) initiated an entirely new field of study on thought suppression. Over the next decade, Wegner developed his theory of “ironic processes” to explain why it’s so hard to tamp down unwanted thoughts.

Who is the father of thought suppression research?

But the research that proved it true came more than a century later, from the lab of social psychologist Daniel Wegner, PhD. Wegner, a psychology professor at Harvard University and the founding father of thought suppression research, first came across the quote more than 25 years ago.

What are the paradoxical effects of thought suppression?

Paradoxical Effects of Thought Suppression ATTITUDES AND SOCIAL COGNITION Paradoxical Effects of Thought Suppression Daniel M. Wegner Trinity University David J. Schneider University of Texas at San Antonio Samuel R. Carter III and Teri L. White Trinity University

Who was Daniel Wegner and what did he do?

The John Lindsley Professor of Psychology in Memory of William James, Wegner redefined social psychology as the science of human experience. He was arguably most famous for his experiments on thought suppression, in which people were unable to keep from thinking of a white bear.