Ironic Mental Control

Ironic mental control is also known as ironic process theory, ironic rebound, and white bear problem. This pertains to the high probability of being aware of consciously suppressed thoughts; hence, the attempt to suppress one’s thoughts becomes futile.

For instance, you automatically think of a polar bear when someone specifically tells you not to think of it. The suppression studies conducted by Daniel Merton Wegner, an American social psychologist, verified that ironic mental processes often occur in stressful situations. This concept is applied in therapeutic settings wherein clients are not asked to suppress their anxiety or depression.

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