The Impact of Thought Speed and Variability on Psychological State and Threat Perception
Rosser, Benjamin Albert
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
Standard 18 month embargo to allow for publications of work from the thesis to be completed.
The speed and variability of thought are purportedly common features of specific psychological states, such as anxiety and mania. The present study explored the proposed independent and combinational influence of these variables upon condition-specific symptoms and affective state. A general population sample was recruited online (N = 263). Participants completed a thought speed and variability manipulation task, inducing a combination of fast/slow and varied/repetitive thought. Change in anxiety and mania symptoms was assessed through direct self-reported symptom levels and indirect, processing bias assessment (threat interpretation). Results indicated that both fast and varied thought independently increased self-reported manic symptoms. Affect was significantly less positive and more negative during slow thought. No change in anxiety symptoms or threat interpretation was found between manipulation conditions. Critically, no evidence for the proposed combinational influence of speed and variability was found. Implications for developing understanding of condition-specific mechanisms and avenues for therapeutic intervention are discussed.
Doctor of Clinical Psychology