Inflexible Interpretations of Ambiguous Social Situations: A Novel Predictor of Suicidal Ideation and the Beliefs That Inspire It

Jonas Everaert, Michael V. Bronstein, Tyrone D. Cannon, E. David Klonsky, Jutta Joormann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Suicidal ideation has been linked to a bias toward interpreting ambiguous information in consistently less positive or more negative manners (positive/negative interpretation bias), implying that information-processing biases might distort beliefs thought to inspire suicidal ideation (e.g., those regarding burdensomeness). Therefore, in the present study, we examined whether suicidal ideation and beliefs highlighted in theories of suicide are related to positive/negative interpretation bias and/or a bias against revising negative interpretations in response to evidence against them (negative interpretation inflexibility). Data were collected in three waves, each 1 week apart. Network analyses and structural equation models provided evidence that negative interpretation bias (cross-sectionally) and negative interpretation inflexibility (cross-sectionally and over time) were related to suicidal ideation and that the latter relationship was mediated by perceived burdensomeness. By identifying this mediation pathway in the present study, we provide a potential mechanism by which perceptions of burdensomeness, a key risk factor for suicidality, might arise and/or persist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-899
Number of pages21
JournalClinical Psychological Science
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 26 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

Keywords

  • interpretation bias
  • interpretation inflexibility
  • open data
  • perceived burdensomeness
  • preregistered
  • suicidal ideation

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