Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2016


According to the Response Styles Theory, the way in which an individual responds to depressed mood influences the duration and severity of one’s depressed mood (Nolen-Hoeksema, 1991). In particular, a ruminative response, or tendency to repeatedly think about the causes and consequences of one’s depressed mood is hypothesized to worsen depressed mood (Nolen-Hoeksema, Wisco & Lyubomirsky, 2008). Research examining the measure of rumination using the Ruminative Response Scale (Nolen-Hoeksema & Morrow, 1991), Treynor, Gonzalez and Nolen-Hoeksema (2003) has yielded two distinct subtypes of rumination: brooding and reflection. Brooding was conceptualized as a maladaptive form of rumination, while reflection was thought to be more adaptive. While support for the maladaptive nature of brooding has generally been found, research on reflection has resulted in mixed findings. The goal of the present study was to examine the validity of reflection and reconcile prior mixed findings. Hypotheses were based on Treynor et al.’s (2003) conceptualization of reflection and prior findings. A diverse sample of adults from the US, were recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) and completed self-report measures. In line with hypotheses, significant positive correlations were found between reflection and depression, emotional processing, and certain subscales of mindfulness (FFMQ Observe& KIMS Observe, PHLMS awareness). In contrast with hypotheses, significant positive associations were found between reflection and negative problem orientation, and avoidant and impulsive/careless problem solving. In contrast with hypotheses, reflection was not associated with emotion regulation, curiosity/exploration, self-esteem, or positive affect. Also in contrast with hypotheses, problem solving did not moderate the relationship between reflection and depression.

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Psychology Commons