Exploring underlying mechanisms in the relationship between regret, rumination and depression

In contemporary Western societies, we are bombarded by choices (e.g., education, career, hobbies, etc.). However, this overabundance of possibilities is not beneficial for everyone, as a lot of people experience great distress navigating the ever growing complexities of our society. Furthermore, given this choice overload, people may increasingly experience regret about their life decisions. Research has shown that individuals who are prone to engage in (self-critical) rumination (repetitively thinking about negative emotions and thoughts related to oneself), are more prone to dwell on the past (e.g., thinking about what would have happened if they had made different choices in the past, experiencing regret surrounding life decisions). The goal of this project is to identify mechanisms (e.g., attentional processes, self-esteem discrepancies) underlying this insidious relationship, and to investigate whether prefrontal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is able to adaptively attenuate this regret-proneness among rumination-inclined individuals.

For more information on this line of research, feel free to contact jens.allaert@ugent.be!