Revisiting written disclosure: The effects of warm versus cold experimenters
Early writing paradigm studies suggested that people who write about emotional or traumatic events accrue psychological and physiological benefits. However, recent studies suggest that a number of variables may play a role in determining when, and for whom, writing is beneficial. The current study examined the impact of experimenter demeanor in this paradigm. Though participants who disclosed a traumatic event after interacting with a warm experimenter were more engaged in the writing task and more likely to report gaining insight than those in other conditions, they did not demonstrate the expected psychological or physical benefits. In fact, they reported significantly more distress at follow-up than others. Conversely, those participants who disclosed a trauma after interacting with a cold, distant experimenter did not experience increases in distress or report a significant amount of insight gained as the result of written disclosure.
Rogers, LJ; Wilson, KG; Gohm, CL; Merwin, RM
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