This study focuses on a variety of meta-cognitions in a sample of non-clinical subjects. More specifically, the relations between cognitive self-consciousness (i.e., the awareness of one's own thoughts), meta-worry (i.e., the negative appraisal of intrusive thoughts), and thought suppression (i.e., conscious attempts to avoid unwanted thoughts) were examined. In addition, associations between these three meta-cognitive constructs and symptoms of worry and obsessional thoughts were investigated. Results showed that meta-cognitive variables were positively related. Nevertheless, evidence was found to indicate that the strongly resembling concepts of cognitive self-consciousness and meta-worry should be viewed as distinct factors. Further, meta-worry correlated (significantly) stronger with symptoms of worry and obsessional thoughts than did the other two cognitive constructs. Finally, meta-worry and thought suppression were unique predictors of symptoms of worry, whereas cognitive self-consciousness and meta-worry were unique predictors of obsessional thoughts. The implications of these findings are briefly discussed.

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Personality and Individual Differences
Department of Psychology

de Bruin, G. O., Muris, P., & Rassin, E. (2007). Are there specific meta-cognitions associated with vulnerability to symptoms of worry and obsessional thoughts?. Personality and Individual Differences, 42(4), 689–699. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2006.08.015