Differences between subclinical ruminators and reflectors in narrating autobiographical memories : innovative moments and autobiographical reasoning

  • Reasoning may help solving problems and understanding personal experiences. Ruminative reasoning, however, is inconclusive, repetitive, and usually regards negative thoughts. We asked how reasoning as manifested in oral autobiographical narratives might differ when it is ruminative versus when it is adaptive by comparing two constructs from the fields of psychotherapy research and narrative research that are potentially beneficial: innovative moments (IMs) and autobiographical reasoning (AR). IMs captures statements in that elaborate on changes regarding an earlier personal previous problem of the narrator, and AR capture the connecting of past events with other parts of the narrator’s life or enduring aspects of the narrator. A total of N = 94 university students had been selected from 492 students to differ maximally on trait rumination and trait adaptive reflection, and were grouped as ruminators (N = 38), reflectors (N = 37), and a group with little ruminative and reflective tendencies (“unconcerned,” N = 19). Participants narrated three negative personal experiences (disappointing oneself, harming someone, and being rejected) and two self-related experiences of more mixed valence (turning point and lesson learnt). Reflectors used more IMs and more negative than positive autobiographical arguments (AAs), but not more overall AAs than ruminators. Group differences were not moderated by the valence of memories, and groups did not differ in the positive effect of narrating on mood. Trait depression/anxiety was predicted negatively by IMs and positively by AAs. Thus, IMs are typical for reflectors but not ruminators, whereas the construct of AR appears to capture reasoning processes irrespective of their ruminative versus adaptive uses.
Author:Tilmann HabermasORCiDGND, Iris Delarue, Pia Eiswirth, Sarah Glanz, Christin Krämer, Axel Landertinger, Michelle Krainhöfner, João Batista, Miguel M. Gonçalves
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in psychology
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication:Lausanne
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/03/02
Date of first Publication:2021/03/02
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/06/09
Tag:autobiographical memory; autobiographical reasoning; innovative moments; narrative; rumination
Issue:art. 624644
Page Number:12
First Page:1
Last Page:12
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0