Borton Presents Thought Suppression Research at Conference

Associate Professor of Psychology Jennifer Borton presented a poster titled “Fragile Self-Esteem as a Predictor of Thought Suppression” at the annual conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology held Jan. 28-30 in Las Vegas.

Borton, with Rebecca Ashby ’09, Abigail Crimmins ’09 and Jessica Ruddiman ’09, examined whether individuals with fragile high self-esteem (i.e., those with defensive, unstable, or contingent self-esteem) would be more prone than those with secure high self-esteem to suppress intrusive thoughts following an ego threat.

The results indicated that participants with defensive self-esteem (defined as high explicit paired with low implicit self-esteem), high unstable self-esteem, and contingent self-esteem were more likely to report suppressing test-related thoughts than were those with more secure self-esteem. In sum, the results suggest that individuals with fragile self-esteem are more prone to suppressing negative thoughts about the self than are those with secure self-esteem, and may therefore be more vulnerable to suppression-related anxiety and depression.

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