Trying to stop thinking unwanted, often repetitive thoughts is a familiar experience. However, being aware of such attempts implies that the thought has already reached consciousness. Can we preempt an unwanted thought from coming to mind in the first place?
Are things not going well right now? Having a bad day?
When people experience a negative life event, they tend to make causal inferences about the event. These inferred causes affect the way people experience events and respond to them. Over time, whereas some people revisit events and rethink about them, shift towards more adaptive inferences, others may stay stuck in their initial negative inference.
What if we could help people flexibly shift between negative causal inferences (e.g., ‘This happened because I’m a failure’) to more adaptive ones (e.g. ‘This was difficult and I’m not at my best at the moment’)?
A new paper by Dr. Baruch Perlman and Prof. Nilly Mor recently published in Behaviour Research and Therapy, is part of a series of papers from Baruch’s dissertation and describes the construction of a novel cognitive bias modification (CBM) procedure that targets inferential flexibility. The training procedure was successful in training participants towards greater inferential flexibility and resulted in decreased negative mood and state rumination. Taking their prior work in which training promoted a positive inferential style a step further, this paper discusses the unique contribution of a CBM procedure targeting flexibility as well as its challenges.
Link for the full paper: https://bit.ly/CBM_inferential_flexibility
Previous CBM papers: