Publication Date

2008

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Orcutt, Holly K.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Department

Department of Psychology

LCSH

Avoidance (Psychology)

Abstract

The current study utilized an experimental design to investigate the influences of experimentally induced distress from personal and non-personal events in college students reporting high and low levels of experiential avoidance. Researchers have attempted to elicit experientially avoidant responses in laboratory settings with varying success. In fact, the pattern of responses has varied depending on the stimuli used to elicit an experiential avoidance response and the population that is studied. Therefore, the current study examined the role of stimulus relevance in eliciting an affective response by using an emotional imagery paradigm requiring participants to become engaged with the emotional content of a distressing event that has either happened to them (i.e., personal event) or has happened to another participant (i.e., non-personal event). It was hypothesized that the activation of a comprehensive affective response would reveal differential responding between high and low experiential avoidance groups across measurement domains (e.g., self-report and physiological reactivity). Results do not support differential responding between high and low experiential avoidance groups; however, results do support the use of the emotional imagery paradigm for manipulation of personalized stimuli. Limitations, theoretical considerations, clinical utility, and future directions are discussed in detail.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references (pages 126-134)

Extent

vii, 149 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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