What is White Bear Syndrome?

What is White Bear Syndrome?

Ironic process theory, ironic rebound, or the white bear problem refers to the psychological process whereby deliberate attempts to suppress certain thoughts make them more likely to surface. An example is how when someone is actively trying not to think of a white bear they may actually be more likely to imagine one.

How can we stop white bears?

Meditation, mindfulness and other tools can help us avoid unwanted thoughts, says social psychologist Daniel Wegner. Comment: “Try to pose for yourself this task: not to think of a polar bear, and you will see that the cursed thing will come to mind every minute.”

What is the ironic effect?

Wegner (1994) coined the term ‘ironic effect’ to describe the uncontrollable preoccupation with a ‘to-be-supressed’ thought that individuals experience during and after thought suppression.

What is ironic mental processing?

Ironic process theory, also known as the white bear problem, is a psychological concept asserting that conscious attempts to suppress thoughts make them more likely to surface. This led to the idea that suppressing thoughts have paradoxical effects, and can even lead to an obsessive or intrusive way of thinking.

How do you suppress your thoughts?

Strategies for Unwanted Thoughts

  1. Choose a distractor and focus on that. If you’re given two things to think about, your concentration is fractured, and will give your brain a small break from focusing on the unwanted thought.
  2. Postpone the thought.
  3. Cut back on multitasking.
  4. Think about it.
  5. Meditation and mindfulness.

What happens when we try to suppress unwanted thoughts?

Trying to suppress an intrusive, unwanted thought can cause it to rebound, or reoccur. This happens because, while an initial thought can occur automatically and without any mental effort, trying to suppress it is a controlled, conscious process that requires mental resources.

Do you not think about elephants?

But whatever you do, DON’T think about a pink elephant. In psychology, this phenomenon is known as the “ironic process theory,” whereby deliberate attempts to suppress certain thoughts actually make them more likely to surface! Social psychologist Daniel Wegner first studied ironic process theory in 1987.

How does irony make the reader feel?

Most forms of irony display a disparity between what the characters think can, should, or will happen and what actually transpires. This can spark strong feelings in the reader and serve as a way to teach practical or moral lessons.

What is ironic effects of mental control?

Research shows that trying to control attention often fails, and it can even result in the opposite mental state that was intended. Mental control is more likely to fail when the mind is overly burdened, such as by stress, time pressure, or fatigue.

What is the pink elephant theory?

“Seeing pink elephants” is a euphemism for drunken hallucination caused by alcoholic hallucinosis or delirium tremens. The term dates back to at least the early 20th century, emerging from earlier idioms about snakes and other creatures.

What is ironic thought suppression?

The ironic effect of thought suppression refers to the phenomenon in which individuals trying to rid their mind of a target thought ironically experience greater levels of occurrence and accessibility of the thought compared with individuals who deliberately concentrate on the thought (Wegner, 1994, doi:10.1037/0033- …

How do you push a thought out of your head?

9 Ways to Let Go of Stuck Thoughts

  1. Don’t talk back. The first thing you want to do when you get an intrusive thought is to respond with logic.
  2. Know it will pass. I can do anything for a minute.
  3. Focus on now.
  4. Tune into the senses.
  5. Do something else.
  6. Change your obsession.
  7. Blame the chemistry.
  8. Picture it.

Can you think of a white bear during articulation?

In one condition, participants were told that during their articulation, they could think about a white bear. In the other condition, participants were told that they were not allowed to think of a white bear during articulation.

How effective is the White Bear suppressor?

While participants in the suppression condition mentioned the white bear less than people in the express condition, all participants pressed the button at about equal rates, indicating that the goal to suppress the thought was hardly effective.

How often do you think of a white bear per minute?

Despite the explicit instructions to avoid it, the participants thought of a white bear more than once per minute, on average. Next, Wegner asked the participants to do the same exercise, but this time to try to think of a white bear.

What is Behr syndrome?

Behr syndrome. Behr syndrome is characterized by the association of early-onset optic atrophy with spinocerebellar degeneration resulting in ataxia, pyramidal signs, peripheral neuropathy and developmental delay.