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When the Self Becomes Other: Toward an Integrative Understanding of the Processes Distinguishing Adaptive Self-reflection from Rumination

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How can people adaptively analyze and “work through” negative feelings without ruminating? This paper will briefly review findings from an integrative program of research, which suggests that a critical factor determining whether people's attempts to adaptively reason about negative experiences succeed or fail is the type of self-perspective they adopt. That is, whether people analyze their feelings from a self-immersed or self-distanced perspective. The implications of shifting self-perspectives for subjective experience, autonomic nervous system reactivity, and neural activity are discussed.
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Keywords: coping; emotion regulation; fMRI; mindfulness; psychological distance; rumination; self-reflection; self-regulation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1109, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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