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Behav Res Ther. 2007 Jun;45(6):1231-43. Epub 2006 Oct 19.

What ends a worry bout? An analysis of changes in mood and stop rule use across the catastrophising interview task.

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Department of Psychology, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QH, UK.


This paper reports the results of two experiments designed to test predictions from the mood-as-input hypothesis about the factors that contribute to the ending of a worry bout. Experiment 1 looked at changes in self-reported mood across a catastrophising interview task. Experiment 2 investigated whether there were any changes in stop rule deployment between the beginning and end of a catastrophising interview task. Experiment 1 demonstrated that worriers tended to show increases in negative mood and decreases in positive mood over the course of catastrophising. In Experiment 2, participants exhibited a significant shift away from endorsing the use of 'as many as can' stop rules and a significant increasing tendency to endorse the use of 'feel like continuing' stop rules over the course of catastrophising. These results suggest that worriers exhibit increases in negative mood across the worry bout, but shift from the use of 'as many as can' to 'feel like continuing' stop rules. Mood-as-input hypothesis predicts that if high worriers ask the question "do I feel like continuing?" in the context of increasing negative mood, this will imply that the activity is no longer enjoyable or profitable and should be terminated. The results are discussed in the context of mood-as-input accounts of pathological worrying and the therapeutic implications of these findings are reviewed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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