Meaning Making & Self-Distancing

Both common wisdom and findings from multiple areas of research suggest that it is helpful to understand and make meaning out of negative experiences. However, people’s attempts to do so often backfire, leading them to ruminate and feel worse. In this line of work, we explore how these seemingly contradictory sets of findings can be reconciled by examining the role that self-distancing plays in facilitating adaptive self-reflection.

Sample Publications

Kross, E., Bruehlman-Senecal, E., Park, J., Burson, A., Dougherty, A., Shablack, H., Bremner, R., Moser, J., & Ayduk, O. (2014). Self-talk as a regulatory mechanism: How you do it matters. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Kross, E., Gard, D., Deldin, P., Clifton, J., & Ayduk, O. (2012). Asking why from a distance: Its cognitive and emotional consequences for people with Major Depressive Disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121(3), 559-569.

Kross, E., & Ayduk, O. (2011). Making meaning out of negative experiences by self-distancing. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(3), 187-191.

Ayduk, O., & Kross, E. (2010). From a distance: Implications of spontaneous self-distancing for adaptive self-reflection. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98, 809-829.

Kross, E., & Ayduk, O. (2008). Facilitating adaptive emotional analysis: Short-term and long-term outcomes distinguishing distanced-analysis of negative emotions from immersed-analysis and distraction. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 924-938.