Terror management and the mechanism of suppression elicited by eye movements: A new model for understanding the efficacy of EMDR
This thesis tested the effects of eye movements through the conceptual replication of a terror management study conducted by Arndt, Greenberg, Solomon, Pyzczynski, and Simon (1997). Based on theoretical models of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and previous research, it was suggested that the construct of suppression was a relevant component in treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Terror management research, specifically the Arndt and colleagues (1997) study, provided a framework for testing the proposed relationships. Participants were randomly assigned one of four conditions: (a) death-primed, eye movements, (b) exam-primed, eye movements, (d) death-primed, no eye movements. (d) exam-primed, no eye movements. It was hypothesized that eye movements would induce a cognitive load, thereby interfering with suppression processes that occur in terror management, The second hypothesis was that eye movements would interfere with the suppression of death-anxiety. The third hypothesis was that participants in the eye movement conditions would report lower levels of death-related affect (e. g., negativity, fear, self-assuredness, and serenity) than participants in the no eye movement conditions. Finally, it was hypothesized that levels of (PTSD) symptoms would significantly impact each dependent variable. Findings did not support the primary hypothesis; neither the presence of eye movements nor priming effected death-thought accessibility. The second hypothesis that levels of death anxiety would be affected by eye movement and by priming was also unsupported by the results. In support of the third hypothesis, findings did identify an effect of priming on self-reported affect. Specifically, participants in the death-salience conditions reported more negativity than participants in the exam-salient conditions. In addition, participants in the eye movements conditions reported higher levels of serenity than participants in the no eye movements conditions. Individuals who reported high levels of PTSD symptoms also reported more death anxiety, more negativity, ad more death-specific intrusions than participants who reported low levels of PTSD symptoms, regardless of their experimental condition. The implications of the findings, as well as the limitations of the study, are discussed.
Original Work Citation
Nugent, N. R. (2000). Terror management and the mechanism of suppression elicited by eye movements: A new model for understanding the efficacy of EMDR. University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
“Terror management and the mechanism of suppression elicited by eye movements: A new model for understanding the efficacy of EMDR,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed May 14, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/17942.