Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Dealing with negative thinking

Dealing with negative thinking

Is it ‘normal’ to think about pushing someone in front of a train or to fantasise about driving your car into oncoming traffic?

The answer is yes says Victoria University of Wellington researcher Dr Kirsty Fraser who graduated with a PhD in Psychology last week.

“It’s common for people to occasionally have those kind of negative thoughts, but then most of us realise it’s a bit ridiculous and move on,” says Dr Fraser.

For some people, however, those negative thoughts may persist, leading to anxiety and depression.

“It’s how we react to, and process, those negative intrusions that can make the difference between brushing them off and developing obsessive compulsive symptoms, such as severe anxiety and depression.

“For example, some people could be so anxious about those kind of thoughts that they go out of their way to avoid catching a train or driving.”

Dr Fraser’s thesis focused on two ways of processing negative thoughts—inflated responsibility (IR) and thought action fusion (TAF), and the way each relates to mental disorders.

“TAF is when you believe that thinking about an action is equivalent to actually carrying out that action, while IR is one of the driving forces behind obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), where you believe you can prevent something happening by what you do or don't do.

“My research demonstrates that both types of beliefs play important roles in the development and maintenance of psychological symptoms related to anxiety, depression and OCD.”

Dr Fraser’s research also looked at how childhood experiences, critical events in one’s life and religious beliefs could impact upon thoughts.

She surveyed more than 1,000 people and divided them into four groups: undergraduate students, so called ‘normal’ citizens, patients from an anxiety clinic and those with religious and atheist beliefs.

“Overall,” she says, “my research provided strong support for existing theories about the role of cognitive processes in the maintenance of symptoms and distress.”

When Kirsty arrived at Victoria in 2002, she began studying human resources. She took a psychology paper out of interest and “never left”.

“The lecturer was John McDowall, who introduced me to how interesting the subject is. He ended up being my supervisor for my PhD.”

For the past three years, Kirsty has combined doctoral study with teaching a second year psychology paper at Victoria, marking for another tertiary institution and being a full-time mother.

“Now I'm starting to think about other challenges, including possible research positions. I’d like to publish my PhD research and continue lecturing.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: NZ Government Deficit Smaller Than Expected In First Half

The New Zealand government's operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first six months of the financial year, as the consumption and corporate tax take rose ahead of forecast in December, having lagged estimates in previous months. More>>

ALSO:

Fruit & Veg Crackdown: Auckland Fruit Fly Find Under Investigation

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is investigating a find of a single male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn... MPI has placed legal controls on the movement of fruit and some vegetables outside of a defined circular area which extends 1.5km from where the fly was trapped in Grey Lynn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Westpac NZ Reaches $2.97M Swaps Settlement

Westpac Banking Corp’s New Zealand unit has agreed to pay $2.97 million in a settlement with the Commerce Commission over the way the bank sold interest rate swaps to farmers between 2005 and 2012. More>>

ALSO:

Going Dutch: Fonterra Kicks Off $144M Partnership With Dutch Cheese Maker

Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world’s largest dairy exporter, has commissioned a new dairy ingredients plant in Heerenveen, in the north of the Netherlands, its first wholly-owned and operated ingredients plant in Europe. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Retail Sales Beat Estimates

New Zealand retail sales rose more than expected in the fourth quarter, led by vehicle-related transactions, food and beverages, adding to evidence that cheap credit and a growing jobs market are encouraging consumers to spend. More>>

ALSO:

Delivery Cuts Go Ahead: 'Government Money Grab' From NZ Post

"It's a money grab by the Government as the shareholder of New Zealand Post" says Postal Workers Union advocate Graeme Clarke about the changes announced by NZ Post. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news