|Title||Unnoticed intrusions: Dissociations of meta-consciousness in thought suppression|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2013|
|Authors||Baird B., Smallwood J., Fishman D.J., Mrazek M., Schooler J.W.|
|Journal||Consciousness and Cognition|
The current research investigates the interaction between thought suppression and indi- viduals’ explicit awareness of their thoughts. Participants in three experiments attempted to suppress thoughts of a prior romantic relationship and their success at doing so was measured using a combination of self-catching and experience-sampling. In addition to thoughts that individuals spontaneously noticed, individuals were frequently caught engaging in thoughts of their previous partner at experience-sampling probes. Further- more, probe-caught thoughts were: (i) associated with stronger decoupling of attention from the environment, (ii) more likely to occur under cognitive load, (iii) more frequent for individuals with a desire to reconcile, and (iv) associated with individual differences in the tendency to suppress thoughts. Together, these data suggest that individuals can lack meta-awareness that they have begun to think about a topic they are attempting to sup- press, providing novel insight into the cognitive processes that are involved in attempting to control undesired mental states.