Sindhuja Sankaran, Ewa Szumowska, Małgorzata Kossowska

“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • General Psychology

Abstract: Most research on depressive rumination is generally related to performance deterioration. Rumination, however, may be adaptive if it is associated with reflection, improving task performance. The mechanisms responsible for improved task performance related to rumination are not well-known. Thus, this study investigated the role of effort in understanding how people, high on reflection, engage in task performance. We argue that high reflectors would be more sensitive to “effort congruent” cues than low reflectors and would, therefore, take that extra step to invest more effort, which would then be translated into improved task performance. We manipulated motivational states of effort investment (effort enhancing vs. effort minimizing) and tested the effect of individual differences in reflection on the performance of the multiple-goal task. Results showed that high reflectors (vs. low) performed better when asked to focus on tasks requiring more effort. These new insights make a meaningful contribution to the dual model theory of rumination.

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