Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
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How are triggers for repetitive negative thinking organized? A relational frame analysis

Bárbara Gil-Luciano1,2, Tatiana Calderón-Hurtado3, Daniel Tovar3, Beatriz Sebastián1, and Francisco J. Ruiz3

1 Universidad de Almería,
2 Madrid Institute of Contextual Psychology MICPSY, and
3 Fundación Universitaria Konrad-Lorenz

Background: Repetitive negative thinking (RNT) has been identified as an important transdiagnostic process. However, little empirical research has been conducted into how triggers for RNT are organized. This study tested the hypothesis that these triggers are usually hierarchically related. Method: One-hundred undergraduates underwent several evaluation phases. Firstly, a diagnostic interview was administered. Secondly, participants responded to several questionnaires measuring emotional symptoms and the tendency to engage in RNT. Thirdly, participants were presented with a list of thoughts that typically serve as triggers for RNT. They were asked to select the thoughts they usually experienced and to rate how much they became entangled in those thoughts. Fourthly, three types of diagrams were explained that showed ways in which the triggers could be organized: COORDINATION, COMPARISON, and HIERARCHY. Participants were asked to select the diagram that best described them. Results: Seventy-nine participants organized their triggers for RNT in hierarchies, 19 participants in relationships of comparison, and 2 in coordination. Participants who selected HIERARCHY exhibited higher scores in RNT than those who selected the comparison diagram. Conclusions: Psychological interventions aimed at disrupting RNT should take into account how triggers are organized.

Análisis de la organización de los disparadores del pensamiento negativo repetitivo desde la teoría del marco relacional. Antecedentes: el pensamiento negativo repetitivo (PNR) ha sido identificado como un proceso transdiagnóstico relevante. Sin embargo, se ha realizado escasa investigación acerca de cómo se relacionan sus disparadores. Este estudio evaluó la hipótesis de que los disparadores suelen relacionarse jerárquicamente. Método: se evaluó a 100 universitarios. Primero, se administró una entrevista diagnóstica. Segundo, los participantes completaron medidas de síntomas emocionales y la tendencia a implicarse en PNR. Tercero, se les presentó un listado de pensamientos que suelen funcionar como disparadores de PNR, seleccionaron los que suelen experimentar y evaluaron el grado en que se quedan enredados con ellos. Cuarto, se les explicó tres diagramas que representaban formas en que los disparadores pueden organizarse: COORDINACIÓN, COMPARACIÓN y JERARQUÍA. Finalmente, se les pidió que seleccionaran el que mejor se les ajustaba. Resultados: setenta y nueve participantes organizaron los disparadores en jerarquías, 19 en relaciones de comparación y 2 en coordinación. Los participantes que seleccionaron JERARQUÍA obtuvieron mayores puntuaciones en PNR que los que eligieron el diagrama de comparación. Conclusiones: las intervenciones psicológicas que buscan alterar PNR deberían tener en cuenta cómo se organizan los disparadores.


Impact factor 2021:   JCR (WOS): 4.104 (Q1)   |   SJR (Scopus) : 1.308 (Q1)    |  CiteScore 2020: 5,3