Intrusive Thoughts, Rumination, and Incomplete Intentions

  • Jürgen Beckmann
Part of the The Springer Series in Social Clinical Psychology book series (SSSC)


Sometimes we find it hard to remember things that we should not forget. At other times thoughts about completely unimportant or even ridiculous matters linger on in our minds. Thoughts intruding into our conscious attention can severely impair or even completely block what we are currently trying to achieve. I may not be able to concentrate on reading if I am continuously harassed by thoughts of how stupid I looked yesterday when I tried to repair the dishwasher and a plumber had to come to fix the disaster I caused. We may then want to suppress these thoughts but fail. Wegner, Schneider, Carter, and White (1987) have shown that the instruction not to think about a white bear actually provokes repeated intrusions of this rather far-fetched thought into consciousness.


Intelligence Test Spreading Activation Intrusive Thought Thought Suppression Mental Control 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürgen Beckmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Insitute for Sports ScienceUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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