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The Role of Rumination in Memory Consolidation During Creative Problem-Solving Incubation
Problem solving deficits are well-highlighted in anxiety. However, less is known about the relations between anxiety and creative problem solving, which is defined as the ability to generate unique solutions to problems. This might be due, in part, to the lack of clarity surrounding the mechanisms underlying incubation, a period of offline rest that benefits creative problem solving. Tangential lines of research suggest that rumination, an important transdiagnostic factor of mood disorders, may detriment memory consolidation during incubation, which might subsequently lower creative problem-solving success. However, no studies to date have elucidated the relations between these three factors: rumination, memory consolidation during incubation, and creative problem solving. Thus, this dissertation investigated 1) the association between trait tendencies to ruminate, memory consolidation, and problem solving using a pre-existing dataset and 2) the effect of active rumination during incubation on subsequent memory and problem-solving success through a novel experimental study. Although no causal effects of rumination on memory consolidation and problem-solving success can be definitively confirmed in this project, a preliminary exploration into these relations and an in-depth discussion of possible limitations and future directions are provided.
Research Director(s)Jessica D. Payne
Committee MembersJennifer Hames Kathleen Eberhard K. Lira Yoon
- Doctor of Philosophy
- Doctoral Dissertation
- Psychology, Research and Experimental