Title

Putting the Past Behind: the Effect of Written Disclosure on Cognitive Performance

Abstract

Trauma can have lasting detrimental impacts on emotional, physical and cognitive well-being. Studies show that expressive writing helps to alleviate negative psychological and physical effects of trauma. However, the effect of expressive writing on cognition has not been adequately researched. Our study examines the extent to which writing about a traumatic experience yields short-term cognitive benefits. We hypothesize that emotion regulation (i.e., the extent to which an individual modulates her emotional reactions) may influence the effect of expressive writing on facets of cognition such as processing speed and selective attention. The results of our study have implications for the efficacy of expressive writing as a therapeutic technique. Such results are particularly pertinent to college students, whose learning depends on optimal cognitive functioning.

Faculty Sponsor

Pavel Blagov

Sponsor Department/Programs

Psychology

Tracks

Body and Mind

Terms of Use

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Location

Olin 157

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Apr 11th, 11:15 AM Apr 11th, 11:30 AM

Putting the Past Behind: the Effect of Written Disclosure on Cognitive Performance

Olin 157

Trauma can have lasting detrimental impacts on emotional, physical and cognitive well-being. Studies show that expressive writing helps to alleviate negative psychological and physical effects of trauma. However, the effect of expressive writing on cognition has not been adequately researched. Our study examines the extent to which writing about a traumatic experience yields short-term cognitive benefits. We hypothesize that emotion regulation (i.e., the extent to which an individual modulates her emotional reactions) may influence the effect of expressive writing on facets of cognition such as processing speed and selective attention. The results of our study have implications for the efficacy of expressive writing as a therapeutic technique. Such results are particularly pertinent to college students, whose learning depends on optimal cognitive functioning.

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