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BACKGROUND: The aim of this pilot study was to examine whether priming preoccupation (rumination) in healthy participants adversely affects the processing of interpersonal information. METHODS: Sixty female undergraduates with moderate or marked preoccupation proneness (selected on the basis of their high preoccupation on eating, shape, and weight issues) were randomized to receive either a general preoccupation prime, a standardized preoccupation prime, or a control prime. Following the prime, participants watched an 8-min videotape of a family interaction and then were asked free recall questions about the tape. RESULTS: Participants who received the general preoccupation prime scored lower than the other two groups in response to free recall questions regarding emotion-related topics. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that when primed by everyday worries and concerns, individuals prone to preoccupation may have their capacity to recall emotion-related interpersonal information compromised.

Original publication




Journal article


Depress Anxiety

Publication Date





1 - 6


Adult, Anxiety, Attention, Body Image, Body Weight, Cues, Emotions, Feeding and Eating Disorders, Female, Humans, Interpersonal Relations, Mental Recall, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Personality Inventory, Pilot Projects, Psychometrics, Self Concept, Semantics, Verbal Learning, Videotape Recording