Jos F Brosschot

Jos F Brosschot
Leiden University | LEI · Institute of Psychology

PhD

About

187
Publications
64,792
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11,156
Citations
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August 1998 - present
Leiden University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (187)
Article
Full-text available
Worry is a central process in a wide range of psychopathological and somatic conditions. Three studies (N = 856) were used to test whether a subscale composed of five items of the most commonly used trait anxiety questionnaire, Spielberger’s State Trait Anxiety Inventory-Trait version (STAI-T), is appropriate to measure worry. Results showed that t...
Article
Full-text available
The Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS) is a well-validated performance measure of trait emotional awareness (EA), which is associated with psychological and physical problems. EA is, however, expected to vary over time and we aimed to adapt the LEAS to permit the measurement of EA in daily life as a function of momentary state. Twenty-five...
Article
Full-text available
Frequent or chronic reduction in heart rate variability (HRV) is a powerful predictor of cardiovascular disease, and psychological stress has been suggested to be a co-determinant of this reduction. Recently, we evaluated various methods to measure additional HRV reduction in everyday life and to relate these reductions to psychological stress. In...
Article
Objective: Medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS) and related syndromes are common and place a substantial burden on both patients and society. Chronic psychological distress and dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system may be common factors associated with MUPS, although previous studies have reported mixed results. The aims of this...
Article
Several labels, such as neuroticism, negative emotionality, and dispositional negativity, indicate a broad dimension of psychopathology. However, largely separate, often disorder-specific research lines have developed that focus on different cognitive and affective characteristics that are associated with this dimension, such as perseverative cogni...
Preprint
Full-text available
Several labels such as neuroticism, negative emotionality and dispositional negativity indicate a broad dimension of psychopathology. However, largely separate research lines have developed, often disorder-specific, that focus on different cognitive and affective characteristics that are associated with this dimension, such as perseverative cogniti...
Article
Transcutaneous stimulation of the auricular branch of the vagus nerve (tVNS) has been proposed as a treatment for a spectrum of physical and psychological disorders. One of the proposed working mechanisms of tVNS is a modulatory effect on the locus coeruleus - noradrenaline (LC-NA) network. We tested this hypothesis in humans in a series of three s...
Preprint
Full-text available
Worry is a central process in a wide range of psychopathological and somatic conditions. Three studies (N = 856) were used to test whether a subscale composed of five items of the most commonly used trait anxiety questionnaire, Spielberger’s State Trait Anxiety Inventory-Trait version (STAI-T), is appropriate to measure worry. Results showed that t...
Article
Stress-related stimuli may be presented outside of awareness and may ultimately influence health by causing repetitive increases in physiological parameters, such as blood pressure (BP). In this study, we aimed to corroborate previous studies that demonstrated BP effects of subliminally presented stress-related stimuli. This would add evidence to t...
Article
Fear overgeneralization is thought to be one of the cardinal processes underlying anxiety disorders, and a determinant of the onset, maintenance and recurrence of these disorders. Animal studies have shown that stimulating the vagus nerve (VNS) affects neuronal pathways implicated in pattern separation and completion, suggesting it may reduce the g...
Article
Worrying is a central component of anxiety disorders. We tested whether non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation reduces negative thought intrusions in high worriers. Worry was assessed with a Breathing Focus Task, which consists of a pre-worry period, a worry induction, and a post-worry period. Ninety-seven high worriers were randomly allocated to rec...
Article
Full-text available
Transcutaneous stimulation of the auricular branch of the vagus nerve (tVNS) may accelerate fear extinction in healthy humans. Here, we aimed to investigate this hypothesis in healthy young participants in a prepared learning paradigm, using spider pictures as conditioned stimuli. After a fear conditioning phase, participants were randomly allocate...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Perseverative cognition (e.g. worry) and unconscious stress are suggested to be important mediators in the relation between stressors and physiological health. We examined whether a smartphone-based worry-reduction training improved a physiological marker of stress (i.e. increased heart rate variability [HRV]) and unconscious stress. Des...
Data
Supporting Information. Words used in the Subliminal Evaluative Conditioning task (Experiment 1–3). Supporting Information. Category names and the number of trails per block as used in the Implicit Association Test
Article
Full-text available
Prolonged physiological stress responses form an important risk factor for disease. According to neurobiological and evolution-theoretical insights the stress response is a default response that is always “on” but inhibited by the prefrontal cortex when safety is perceived. Based on these insights the Generalized Unsafety Theory of Stress (GUTS) st...
Book
Full-text available
Perseverative cognition is defined as the repetitive or sustained activation of cognitive representations of past stressful events or feared events in the future and even at non-clinical levels it causes a “fight-or-flight” action tendency, followed by a cascade of biological events, starting in the brain and ending as peripheral stress responses....
Article
Self-report measures of affect come with a number of difficulties that can be circumvented by using indirect measurement procedures. The Implicit Positive and Negative Affect Test (IPANAT) is a recently developed measure of automatic activation of representations of affective states and traits that draws on participants’ ratings of the extent to wh...
Article
Full-text available
Worry is an important mediator in the relation between stressors and health. This pilot-study examined whether a smartphone-based in time worry-reduction-training was feasible and improved physiological health (i.e. increased heart rate variability [HRV]). A total of 26 high-worriers were randomised to an experimental or active-control condition (E...
Chapter
Scientific theory has two main functions. First, theory gives direction to the development of research questions (the heuristic function). Second, theory facilitates the interpretation and integration of research findings (the integrative function).
Article
Ruminative thinking about negative feelings has been prospectively associated with increases in depressive symptoms and heightened risk for new onsets of major depression. One putative pathophysiological mechanism underlying this link might be represented by autonomic nervous system dysfunction. The objective of this longitudinal study was to evalu...
Article
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the western world. Frequent or chronic reductions in heart rate variability (HRV) are a powerful predictor of cardiovascular disease. Psychological stress has been suggested to be an important factor in the development of reduced HRV. Recently, Verkuil et al. (2016) introduced a laboratory-bas...
Preprint
Negative affective information may be presented outside of awareness and change physiological activity. By increasing peripheral physiological activity, subliminally presented negative affective information may contribute to the development of disease. The current systematic review evaluated 65 studies in which negative affective stimuli were prese...
Article
Full-text available
Self-esteem moderates the relationship between stress and (cardiovascular) health, with low self-esteem potentially exacerbating the impact of stressors. Boosting self-esteem may therefore help to buffer against stress. Subliminal evaluative conditioning (SEC), which subliminally couples self-words with positive words, has previously been successfu...
Article
Negative affective information may be presented outside of awareness and change physiological activity. By increasing peripheral physiological activity, subliminally presented negative affective information may contribute to the development of disease. The current systematic review evaluated 65 studies in which negative affective stimuli were prese...
Preprint
After fear conditioning participants were randomly assigned to receive tVNS or sham stimulation during a fear extinction phase. Retention of extinction memory was tested 24 hours later. tVNS accelerated explicit fear extinction learning (US expectancy ratings), but did not lead to better retention of extinction memory 24 hours later. We did not fin...
Article
Stress-related cognitive processes may occur outside of awareness, here referred to as unconscious stress, and affect one’s physiological state. Evidence supporting this idea would provide necessary clarification of the relationship between psychological stress and cardiovascular (CV) health problems. We tested the hypothesis that increases in mean...
Article
Full-text available
Stress, whether daily stress, work stress or traumatic stress, is unhealthy. This lecture covers three recent theoretical approaches in explaining the mechanisms underlying the influence of psychological stress on somatic health. It is argued that stress research should focus less on stressors themselves and put more emphasis on prolonged stress re...
Article
Background The ability of the human brain to escape the here and now (mind wandering) can take functional (problem solving) and dysfunctional (perseverative cognition) routes. Although it has been proposed that only the latter may act as a mediator of the relationship between stress and cardiovascular disease, both functional and dysfunctional form...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Mental health problems are highly prevalent, and there is need for the self-management of (mental) health. Ecological momentary interventions (EMIs) can be used to deliver interventions in the daily life of individuals using mobile devices. Objectives: The aim of this study was to systematically assess and meta-analyze the effect of...
Article
Full-text available
Background Prolonged cardiac activity that exceeds metabolic needs can be detrimental for somatic health. Psychological stress could result in such “additional cardiac activity.” PurposeIn this study, we examined whether prolonged additional reductions in heart rate variability (AddHRVr) can be measured in daily life with an algorithm that filters...
Article
Full-text available
A critical component of the treatment for anxiety disorders is the extinction of fear via repeated exposure to the feared stimulus. This process is strongly dependent on successful memory formation and consolidation. Stimulation of the vagus nerve enhances memory formation in both animals and humans. The objective of this study was to assess whethe...
Article
Full-text available
Self-report, i.e., explicit, measures of affect cannot fully explain the cardiovascular (CV) responses to stressors. Measuring affect beyond self-report, i.e., using implicit measures, could add to our understanding of stress-related CV activity. The Implicit Positive and Negative Affect Test (IPANAT) was administered in two studies to test its eco...
Poster
Full-text available
The perseverative cognition hypothesis (PCH) posits that perseveration, or the repetitive or sustained activation of cognitive representations of a real or imagined stressor, is a primary mechanism linking stress and disease. Rumination and worry are two core components of the PCH, and both are thought to keep the individual in a vigilant state and...
Poster
Full-text available
High frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV) serves as a biological marker of inhibitory and emotion regulation capabilities. Individuals who have lower resting HF-HRV often show a threat response to both threatening and neutral stimuli—making their response non-specific and maladaptive. Interestingly, our group recently showed that people’s impl...
Article
Rumination about the past and worries about the future (perseverative cognition) are extremely common, although pervasive and distressing, dysfunctional cognitive processes. Perseverative cognition is not only implicated in psychological health, contributing to mood worsening and psychopathology but, due to its ability to elicit prolonged physiolog...
Article
Objectives: Several studies have shown that perseverative, worrisome thoughts are prospectively related to subjective health complaints (SHC) and that a short worry postponement intervention can decrease these complaints. As SHC and worry are prevalent and costly, we tested whether the intervention can be offered online to reduce these complaints...
Article
Full-text available
Reduced heart rate variability (HRV) is proposed to mediate the relation between depressive symptoms and cardiovascular health problems. Yet, several studies have found that in women depression is associated with higher HRV levels, whereas in men depression is associated with lower HRV levels. So far, these studies have only examined gender differe...
Article
Full-text available
Emotion and cognition are dynamically coupled to bodily arousal: The induction of anger, even unconsciously, can reprioritise neural and physiological resources toward action states that bias cognitive processes. Here we examine behavioural, neural and bodily effects of covert anger processing and its influence on cognition, indexed by lexical deci...
Article
Objectives In this study, we tested whether high levels of daily worrying are associated with linking, a tendency to overvalue the attainment of specific lower level goals for attaining higher level goals, and more specifically the attainment of experiencing happiness.Methods Thirty-two patients suffering from work stress complaints and awaiting a...
Poster
Full-text available
Self-regulation (SR) is pivotal in emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and autonomic control; thus, SR is an important piece in maintaining good mental and physical health. Interestingly, previous work suggests that SR is a limited resource and when depleted, the individual experiences ego-depletion – a state where SR is operating at less than full c...
Poster
Full-text available
Heart rate variability (HRV) is widely recognized as a psychophysiological index of emotional control. Recently, we showed the relationship between HRV and the need for affect (NA), that is, the motivation to approach, and not avoid, emotional experiences (both positive and negative). Specifically, greater HRV was associated with lesser approaching...
Article
Full-text available
One of the presumed pathways linking negative emotions to adverse somatic health is an overactive HPA-axis, usually indicated by elevated cortisol levels. Traditionally, research has focused on consciously reported negative emotions. Yet, given that the majority of information processing occurs without conscious awareness, stress physiology might a...
Article
This longitudinal study examined the associations between work stressors, perseverative cognition and subjective and objective sleep quality. We hypothesized work stressors to be associated with (i) poor nocturnal sleep quality and (ii) higher levels of perseverative cognition during a free evening. We further hypothesized (iii) perseverative cogni...
Article
Objective: This experimental study examined whether listening to self-chosen music after stress exposure improves mood, decreases subjective arousal and rumination, and facilitates cardiovascular recovery. Method: Participants (N = 123) were exposed to a mental arithmetic task with harassment to induce stress. Afterward, participants were random...
Article
According to recent insights, humans might not be aware of a substantial part of their cognitive stress representations while these still have prolonged physiological effects. 'Unconscious stress' can be measured by implicit affect (IA) tests. It was shown that IA predicts physiological stress responses, in fact better than explicit ('conscious') a...
Article
Full-text available
Excessive cardiac responses to stressful events are a risk factor for morbidity and mortality. Adverse cardiac responses are usually attributed to conscious negative stress and emotions. Yet, cardiac responses might also be affected by emotions that are not consciously reported. Here we tested this hypothesis. Sixty participants were randomly alloc...
Article
This study investigated the effects of a compressed working week with high cognitive and emotional work demands within the population of Dutch Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) pilots. Work stressors were measured and levels of well-being were examined before, during and after a series of day and night shifts. Results revealed that (i) th...
Chapter
Full-text available
Synonyms Worry, rumination, repetitive thinking, intrusive thoughts Definition (and Description) Perseverative cognition is defined as 'the repeated or chronic activation of the cognitive representation of one or more psychological stressors' (Brosschot, Gerin & Thayer, 2006). Stressful events, or stressors, can make people " linger on " mentally....
Chapter
Full-text available
Worry is defined as 'a chain of thoughts and images, negatively affect-laden and relatively uncontrollable. The worry process represents an attempt to engage in mental problem-solving on an issue whose outcome is uncertain but contains the possibility of one or more negative outcomes. Consequently, worry relates closely to fear process' (Borkovec e...
Chapter
Full-text available
An intrusive thought has been defined as 'any distinct, identifiable cognitive event that is unwanted, unintended and recurrent. It interrupts the flow of thought, interferes in task performance, is associated with negative affect, and is difficult to control' (Clark, 2005, p. 4). Intrusive thoughts are particularly present in psychopathological st...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Cognitive models explaining medically unexplained complaints propose that activating illness-related memory causes increased complaints such as pain. However, our previous studies showed conflicting support for this theory. Purpose: Illness-related memory is more likely to influence reporting of complaints when its activation is enme...
Article
Full-text available
Somatic complaints are common and form a major burden. Previous studies suggested that such complaints might be increased by 'illness-related memory', for example due to worries about health. In this ambulatory study we tested whether we could decrease somatic complaints through enhancing the activation of health-related memory by a 'positive healt...
Article
Full-text available
Chronic stress has been linked to hypertension, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly specified. We suggest that chronic stress poses a risk for hypertension through repeated occurrence of acute stressors (often stemming from the chronic stress context) that cause activation of stress-mediating physiological systems. Previous models have ofte...
Article
An association between stress and autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) (especially Graves' hyperthyroidism) has been reported, but all studies so far on this topic have been retrospective. To evaluate prospectively the relationship between stress and (i) de novo occurrence of thyroid antibodies and (ii) development of overt autoimmune hyper-/hypothyro...
Article
1 samenvatting In dit overzichtsartikel wordt beschreven welke invloed piekergedach-ten hebben op onze lichamelijke gezondheid. Volgens de Perseveratieve Cognitie Hypothese verklaren perseveratieve cognities, zoals piekeren, waarom mensen ziek kunnen worden van stress. Door te blijven pieke-ren over een stressvolle gebeurtenis wordt de stressrespon...
Chapter
Full-text available
Perseverative cognition (PC), such as worry and rumination, is a common reaction to stressful events in everyday life. According to the PC hypothesis, prolonged cognitive representations of stressful events will increase the total amount of time that these events have a “wear and tear” effect on the human body. In this chapter, we provide an overvi...
Article
This study examined the psychological processes that may impede or facilitate cardiovascular recovery. It was hypothesized that cardiovascular recovery would be hampered by negative affect and rumination, and facilitated by positive affect. In an experimental study, stress was elicited by exposing participants (N=110) to a mental arithmetic task wi...
Article
Medically unexplained symptoms (MUSs) are a humanitarian and economic burden. Among them, pain complaints without organic pathology are the most prevalent. Theoretically, activated illness-related memory may cause reporting of symptoms by changing perception and interpretation of bodily signals to the extent that they are not tolerated and become c...