Why dichotomize? : the combined effects of abstract and concrete processing on rumination
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This report examines the affects of different types of thinking on rumination. Because of the relationship between rumination and psychopathology, many researchers have attempted to understand what types of processing end the ruminative cycle. Some researchers have proposed that thinking concretely (i.e. the specific details of events) will end rumination. These same researchers argue that thinking about events from an abstract perspective (general meaning of an event) is detrimental. However, several recent studies have shown that abstract processing under certain conditions can be beneficial. Though both sides of the debate discuss abstract and concrete as existing within a hierarchy, research to date has only treated these levels dichotomously. Adopting a Goal Progress Theory perspective, this report proposed a study that asks participants to traverse through multiple level of the construal hierarchy, and argues for the benefits of combining both abstract and concrete processing.