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Impulsivity and Intrusive Thoughts: Related Manifestations of Self-Control Difficulties?

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Impulsive behaviors and intrusive thoughts are prominent in psychopathology. Two studies were conducted to explore their relationships. In Study 1, 250 participants completed the UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale and the Thought Control Ability Questionnaire (TCAQ). In Study 2 involving a sample of 97 female students, the relations between impulsivity and different types of thought control difficulties were examined. Both negative urgency and lack of perseverance were significantly related to the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts as measured by the TCAQ, the Penn State Worry Questionnaire, the obsessing subscale of the Obsessive–Compulsive Inventory-Revised, and an intrusion subscale of the White Bear Suppression Inventory. Regression analyses revealed that negative urgency and lack of perseverance independently contributed to worries and thought control difficulties and that negative urgency was the strongest predictor of all types of intrusions. On the basis of these findings, the authors discuss cognitive processes and content that may be related the different facets of impulsivity. KeywordsImpulsivity–Thought suppression–Intrusion–Worry–Self-control
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... Impulsivity and inhibition are two widely similar processes, and the distinction between them is unclear. Impulsivity is often described as a manifestation of an inhibition deficit that erase divergences between these two processes yet distinct (Aichert et al., 2012;Gay et al., 2008;Gay et al., 2011;Logan et al., 1997;Nigg, 2017). Impulsive behaviour is defined as a deficit in the ability to inhibit a prepotent response (Logan et al., 1997). ...
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Is it possible to ban unwanted thoughts from consciousness? According to the literature on thought suppression, the answer is no. In the 1980s, Wegner and colleges demonstrated that the average person cannot prevent a trivial thought like that of a polar bear from entering consciousness approximately seven times in a five minute period. This experimental finding was followed by a substantial number of replications. This book provides an up-to-date overview of the thought suppression literature. First, similarities and differences between suppression, repression, and dissociation are discussed. Methodological issues are then considered. Finally, the clinical applications of the thought suppression literature are discussed. Although there are numerous conditions to which the phenomenon of suppression can be applied, obsession and traumatic recollection are the main applications. In addition to offering an overview of the literature, this book links the thought suppression paradigm to other research fields, such as directed forgetting and repressive coping. Furthermore, it discusses the phenomenon of thought suppression in the light of broader theories such as the cognitive theory of obsession, and the ego depletion hypothesis. Clinical implications and directions for future research are offered.
Article
Is it possible to ban unwanted thoughts from consciousness? According to the literature on thought suppression, the answer is no. In the 1980s, Wegner and colleges demonstrated that the average person cannot prevent a trivial thought like that of a polar bear from entering consciousness approximately seven times in a five minute period. This experimental finding was followed by a substantial number of replications. This book provides an up-to-date overview of the thought suppression literature. First, similarities and differences between suppression, repression, and dissociation are discussed. Methodological issues are then considered. Finally, the clinical applications of the thought suppression literature are discussed. Although there are numerous conditions to which the phenomenon of suppression can be applied, obsession and traumatic recollection are the main applications. In addition to offering an overview of the literature, this book links the thought suppression paradigm to other research fields, such as directed forgetting and repressive coping. Furthermore, it discusses the phenomenon of thought suppression in the light of broader theories such as the cognitive theory of obsession, and the ego depletion hypothesis. Clinical implications and directions for future research are offered.