We examined links between looming cognitive style (Riskind, Williams, Gesner, Chrosniak, & Cortina, 2000) and aspects of dysfunctional emotional regulation, and particularly fears of loss of emotional control. In study 1 we used a crosssectional design to determine the associations between looming cognitive style and a battery of measures related to fears of loss of emotional control and associated emotional schemas. Consistent with predictions, looming cognitive style was associated with fears of loss of emotional control (Williams, Chambless, & Ahrens, 1997) and with dysfunctional emotion schemas and beliefs (Leahy, 2002). In study 2, we examined whether looming cognitive style predicted increases in fears of losing emotional control over time. Results were consistent with the assumption that the sense of threat created by looming cognitive style produced increased fears of losing control over emotions. Conversely, results indicated a partial reciprocal effect such that fears of losing control over anxiety and positive emotions appeared to predict increases in looming cognitive style. Results also indicated that in contrast to looming cognitive style, which predicted increases in fears of losing control over anxiety as well as other emotions, worry predicted a decline in fears of loss of control over anxiety. These findings are consistent with the assumption that looming cognitive style is a factor in some aspects of emotion dysregulation and that it functions differently than worry. In addition, the findings suggest looming style and fears of loss of emotional control can influence one another through a vicious cycle.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology