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We investigated whether individuals who possess a repressive coping style (repressors) differ in their attributional style depending on how it was assessed. Whereas repressors rated hypothetical negative events to be less likely to be due to internal causes compared to nonrepressors on a direct measure, the opposite pattern was found on an indirect measure, with repressors rating hypothetical negative events to be significantly more likely to be due to internal causes. It is argued that exclusive reliance on direct self-report methods is not a satisfactory way of eliciting information from repressors. Furthermore, we suggest that repressors may have a similar underlying attributional style to depressed individuals, although this may be expressed differently.

Original publication




Journal article


Cognition and Emotion

Publication Date





831 - 835