Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Let it go: How rumination makes what's bad a whole lot worse

Date:
August 21, 2014
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
A new study of more than 600 employees in both blue- and white-collar professions compared individuals more prone to think about past transgressions at work to those focusing more directly on the future. Results indicated that ruminators reported a myriad of less desirable outcomes.

What causes some employees to focus on the future while others seem stuck in the past? How does this choice affect work, stress and interactions with others?

A new study of more than 600 employees in both blue- and white-collar professions, developed by Wayne Hochwarter, Jim Moran Professor of Business Administration in the Florida State University College of Business, and co-author Christopher Rosen of the University of Arkansas, compared individuals more prone to think about past transgressions at work to those focusing more directly on the future. It was published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Vol. 124, 2014, pages 177-189.

Approximately 20 percent of surveyed employees could be considered "ruminators" while 40 percent were classified as "forward thinkers," according to the researchers. The rest of those surveyed were a combination of both to varying degrees. Results indicated that ruminators reported a myriad of less desirable outcomes, including:

•30 percent experienced higher job stress levels

•40 percent experienced greater sleep difficulties/disruptions

•25 percent were less proactive at work

•35 percent had more frequent strained relations with co-workers

•50 percent experienced higher levels of depressed mood at work, such as sadness or isolation

"It's natural and expected for employees to look back at things at work to see what went right, what went wrong, and what can be improved upon," Hochwarter said. "But at some point, both the good and bad need to be whisked away and the future needs to be the priority."

Unfortunately, the "whisking away process" comes much easier for some than others, according to Rosen.

The researchers suggest several potential remedies to help those unable to let go of the past in healthy ways. First, they suggest employees give themselves a set amount of time to deliberate over the day's event. Second, ruminators would benefit from developing relationships with fellow employees who were more forward-thinking than those with like-thinking patterns. Finally, even ruminators can pick one or two positive nuggets from any interaction with which to build upon the process of moving forward. Those positive nuggets should be the focus rather than what is causing grief or impacting work performance.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida State University. The original article was written by Barbara Ash. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christopher C. Rosen, Wayne A. Hochwarter. Looking back and falling further behind: The moderating role of rumination on the relationship between organizational politics and employee attitudes, well-being, and performance. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 2014; 124 (2): 177 DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2014.03.003

Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "Let it go: How rumination makes what's bad a whole lot worse." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821101534.htm>.
Florida State University. (2014, August 21). Let it go: How rumination makes what's bad a whole lot worse. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821101534.htm
Florida State University. "Let it go: How rumination makes what's bad a whole lot worse." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821101534.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) — Celebrities, political leaders and the masses rallied in New York and across the globe demanding urgent action on climate change, with organizers saying 600,000 people hit the streets. Duration: 01:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Company Copies Keys From Photos

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) — A new company allows customers to make copies of keys by simply uploading a couple of photos. But could it also be great for thieves? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Inside London's Massive Sewer Tunnel Project

Inside London's Massive Sewer Tunnel Project

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — Billions of dollars are being spent on a massive super sewer to take away London's vast output of waste, which is endangering the River Thames. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins