PSYC 3690 Chapter Notes -Thought Suppression, Positive Psychology, Cognitive Load

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Published on 14 Apr 2013
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Article #: 22
Title: Sharing Oneʼs Story: On the Benefits of Writing or Talking About
Emotional Experience
- one approach to positive psychology is to document the psychological factors that
promote physical and mental health
- our interest in coping with emotional upheavals is rooted in peopleʼs apparent need to
talk with others after a distressing event
- it has long been argued that self-disclosure of upsetting experiences serves as a basic
human motive
- some experiences are difficult to share
- this chapter will explore how and why constructing stories about important personal
events is so beneficial
- 3 recurring and overlapping processes are explored: those associated with emotional
inhibition, cognitive processes, and linguistic processes that occur within the rubric of
social dynamics
- not talking about important emotional events engages powerful, negative change sin
each of these processes
- by constructing stories through writing or talking, these dynamics can be reversed
The Writing Paradigm: An Overview
- hypothesis that giving people the opportunity to disinhibit or disclose their emotions
would improve health
- profound result of writing studies was peopleʼs seemingly intuitive drive to disclose
- find it valuable and meaningful
- surprising was the painful array of tragic and depressing stories these upper-middle-
class college students wrote - rape, family violence, suicide attempts, drug problems
- participants in the long-term had significantly reduced number of doctor visits
- thorough investigation of the mediators, moderators and parameters
History
- writing about emotional topics has been found to change biological processes, overt
behaviours, and self-reports
The Role of Inhibition
- not talking about important psychological events (contravening thoughts, feelings and
behaviours linked to emotional upheaval) is a form of inhibition
- this active inhibition is a form of physiological work, reflected in autonomic and central
nervous system activity
- inhibition acts as a general stressor that can cause or exacerbate psychosomatic
processes and thereby lead to long-term health problems
- reducing inhibition is a strategy to improve health
- inhibition in Freudʼs world was ultimately linked to the deeper constructs of
suppression and repression
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Document Summary

Title: sharing one s story: on the bene ts of writing or talking about. One approach to positive psychology is to document the psychological factors that promote physical and mental health. Our interest in coping with emotional upheavals is rooted in people s apparent need to talk with others after a distressing event. It has long been argued that self-disclosure of upsetting experiences serves as a basic human motive. This chapter will explore how and why constructing stories about important personal events is so bene cial. 3 recurring and overlapping processes are explored: those associated with emotional inhibition, cognitive processes, and linguistic processes that occur within the rubric of social dynamics. Not talking about important emotional events engages powerful, negative change sin each of these processes. By constructing stories through writing or talking, these dynamics can be reversed. Hypothesis that giving people the opportunity to disinhibit or disclose their emotions would improve health.

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