On the relationship between self-focused attention and psychological disorder: A critical reappraisal

Tom Pyszczynski, James Hamilton, Jeff Greenberg, Glen Nix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

A recent review of the literature on the role of self-focused attention in psychological dysfunction (Ingram, 1990) is critically examined. This article (a) reexamines the evidence relevant to Ingram's proposal that self-awareness is a nonspecific factor involved in virtually all forms of psychopathology and argues that this conclusion is not warranted by the existing evidence; (b) takes issue with his premise that the fact that self-awareness is associated with a variety of psychological dysfunctions poses a conceptual dilemma; (c) corrects several important inaccuracies and mischaracterizations in his presentation of Carver and Scheier's (1981) cybernetic control theory and Pyszczynski and Greenberg's (1987) self-regulatory perseveration theory; and (d) critiques the "self-absorption" model that he proposed as an alternative to extant theories and concludes that this conceptualization does not add to the understanding of either self-awareness processes or psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-543
Number of pages6
JournalPsychological Bulletin
Volume110
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology

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