Rumination is repetitive thinking about negative information (Whitmer & Gotlib, 2013) and involves predominantly verbal/linguistic cognition (Ehring & Watkins, 2008). Typically reported ruminative content includes current concerns and problems, past experiences, or worries about the future (Ehring & Watkins, 2008). Rumination is increasingly becoming a problematic worldwide phenomenon, adversely impacting individuals’ cognition and wellbeing (De Raedt et al., 2015). Individuals are increasingly experiencing maladaptive psychological consequences informed by various global societal changes and concerns, such as the COVID-19 pandemic (Satici et al., 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted individuals’ mental wellbeing, with research indicating increased rumination specifically relating to the epidemic (Ye et al., 2020) and when focused on perceived threats and potential losses (Shigemoto, 2022). With worldwide impacts on individuals’ mental health, it is important to further explore rumination and its link to cognition. This will inform mental health practitioners and researchers on the interference effects of rumination and broaden insight into strategies to combat it.
Rumination has previously been associated with a negative impact on cognitive performance, particularly executive functioning, including attentional control and cognitive flexibility during task performance (Brinker et al., 2013). Rumination may lead to various forms of psychopathology (De Raedt et al., 2015) with literature highlighting rumination to be a crucial cognitive risk factor for depression (Koster et al., 2011). It has been found to maintain and exacerbate depressed mood and depressive and anxiety symptoms. It can also reduce an individual’s willingness to engage in activities and sense of mastery over one’s life (Papageorgiou & Wells, 2003). Depression and anxiety can cause significant human, social, and financial costs (Seligman et al., 2007), with affected individuals experiencing greater life stress and impaired performance (Ruscio et al., 2016).
Just and Alloy (1997) discussed the link between rumination and depression where individuals typically respond to depressive symptoms with ruminative responses, such as behaviours and thoughts focusing on symptoms and potential implications (e.g., thinking about why they feel so badly). Research suggests individuals often engage in rumination as they believe it will help them better understand themselves, situations, and events. However, it might lead to depressed and further negative thinking as they attend to their current depressive mood (Koster et al., 2011). This can than impair task performance by impacting an individual’s focus or their cognitive or emotional inhibition (DeJong et al., 2019).
This study examined two competing theoretical models regarding rumination and its relationship to verbal/linguistic cognition. Specifically, it explored whether presented rumination stimuli interfere with participants’ abilities on a verbal cognition task (model one) compared to a visual cognition task (model two). The two competing theoretical models were chosen due to their extensive discussion of verbal and visual cognition. This research is imperative to add to existing literature and further equip practitioners and researchers with valuable insight into the link between rumination and cognition. This study reports on the results of a laboratory-based experimental study in which the impact of rumination on a verbal and visual free-recall task was examined. We inspected the theoretical implications of these results for the understanding of rumination and worry.
Baddeley’s Model of Working Memory
A proposed theoretical model of the relationship between visual and verbal cognition is provided by Baddeley’s model of working memory (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974). This model of working memory includes two subsystems: the articulatory or phonological loop that processes acoustic and verbal information, and the visuospatial sketchpad that processes visual and spatial information (Baddeley, 2002). The phonological loop subsystem comprises a phonological store, which holds memory traces for a few seconds before fading and can be refreshed through retrieval and rearticulation, and also an articulatory rehearsal process system likened to subvocal speech (Baddeley, 2003). The visuospatial sketchpad temporarily maintains and manipulates visuospatial information, an important role in spatial orientation and solving visuospatial problems. It is believed to form an interface between visual and spatial information which is accessed via the senses or from long-term memory. This allows visual and similar motor or tactile-like-nature information to be linked together (Baddeley, 2002).
Individuals’ performance of simultaneous tasks has been found to differ depending on which subsystems the tasks are processed by. Tasks processed by different subsystems (e.g., articulatory loop or visuospatial sketchpad) are thought to be processed without interference. However, tasks processed by the same subsystem are thought to compete and interfere with each other (Ikeda et al., 1996). For example, one study by Farmer et al. (1986) explored the nature of the working memory system in relation to Baddeley’s model (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974). Their findings showed articulatory suppression (continuous recital of digits) disrupted and interfered with individuals’ verbal reasoning task performance. However, the suppression had no reliable effect on individuals’ spatial reasoning task performance. Furthermore, their results highlighted spatial suppression (continuous sequential tapping) interfered with individuals’ spatial reasoning performance only, not their verbal reasoning performance (Farmer et al., 1986).
Additionally, research by Nitschke et al. (1999) suggests that verbalisation of task-irrelevant information likely interferes with the articulatory loop (involved in verbal working memory), whilst the visuospatial sketchpad (involved in nonverbal working memory) is unaffected. This indicates and supports Baddeley’s model which posits that verbally presented information will likely interfere only with other verbal information (Kensinger & Corkin, 2003). Thus, it is hypothesised that the presence of verbal rumination will impact individuals’ abilities to perform tasks by specifically interfering with a verbal cognition task.
Borkovec’s Model of Rumination and Worry
An alternative proposed theoretical model of rumination and worry is the cognitive avoidance theory of worry described by Borkovec et al. (1998). This model conceptualises rumination as a verbal/linguistic cognitive process that serves to reduce the number of aversive mental images associated with emotional concerns, thereby minimising physiological and emotional responses, and inhibiting emotional processing (Harvey et al., 2004). Rumination is conceived as primarily verbal rather than visual (Borkovec et al., 1998). For example, research by Borkovec and Inz (1990) suggests worrying thoughts predominate individuals’ minds compared to imagery. Freeston et al. (1996) also found that worry is typically experienced as primarily negative verbal and linguistic activity, as opposed to imagery activity (Borkovec et al., 2004), further supporting Borkovec and Inz’s (1990) findings. According to Borkovec’s theory (1998), an individual’s exposure to negative valence-type verbal information will likely lead to worse performance on visual imagery tasks, as the negative verbal information serves to reduce the individual’s exposure to the visual imagery.
Current Study and Hypotheses
Both Baddeley’s working memory model (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974) and Borkovec’s cognitive avoidance theory of worry (Borkovec et al., 1998) have been researched through investigating individuals’ task performance and rumination (Harvey et al., 2004; Ikeda et al., 1996; Kensinger & Corkin, 2003). Each model predicts different impacts on memory performance, with research evidence supporting each prediction. Specifically, Baddeley suggests verbally presented information interferes with verbal information (Kensinger & Corkin, 2003), whilst Borkovec suggests verbal information, in particular negative valence information, interferes with visual task performance (Borkovec et al., 1998).
The current study utilised two free-recall tasks to further examine the association between rumination and task performance: the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT; Geffen et al., 1990; Rey, 1964) and the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (ROCFT; Kolb & Whishaw, 1985; Osterrieth, 1944; Rey, 1941). The ruminative statements constructed for this study consisted of personally relevant and meaningful statements, based on existing research evidence. Five hypotheses were formed as the basis for this study:
Hypothesis 1: Participants in the negative ruminative statement group will decrease performance on the verbal and visual memory tasks.
Hypothesis 2: Participants in the positive ruminative statement group will maintain performance (or there will be a smaller negative impact on performance) on the verbal and visual memory tasks.
Hypothesis 3: Participants in the neutral ruminative statement (control) group will maintain performance on the verbal and visual memory tasks.
Hypothesis 4: A greater performance decrease on the verbal task compared to the visual task will be in line with Baddeley’s model.
Hypothesis 5: A greater performance decrease on the visual task compared to the verbal task will be in line with Borkovec’s model.
Participants were 69 current university students (19 men, 50 women), who nominated themselves to partake in this study to earn partial course credit in exchange for participation. Each valence group (negative, neutral [control], and positive) comprised 23 participants. Participants’ ages ranged from 17 to 55 years, with a mean age of 23.86 (SD = 8.27). Ethnicity included Australian (n = 44), Asian (n = 10), Australian/Mixed (n = 4), European (n = 4), African (n = 3), New Zealander (n = 3), and Brazilian (n = 1). Participants’ primary language was either English (n = 61), a European language (n = 4), or an Asian language (n = 4).
Depression Anxiety Stress Scales
The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS-21; Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995) was used to measure core symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress experienced over the past week. Reliability for this study was assessed through Cronbach’s alpha and reported as acceptable for each subscale: .87 for depression, .81 for anxiety, and .82 for stress. Prior research has demonstrated the reliability and validity of the DASS-21 in assessing depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms (Antony et al., 1998; Henry & Crawford, 2005).
Generalised Anxiety Disorder
The 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder Assessment (GAD-7; Spitzer et al., 2006) was used as a secondary reliable and valid measure for symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder experienced over the past two weeks. Reliability for this study was assessed through Cronbach’s alpha and is reported as high, α = .91 (Spitzer et al., 2006).
Ruminative Statement Groups
A list of the utilised ruminative statements can be seen in Appendix A, Table A1. This list was recorded by the researcher and generated by taking all statement items from the Repetitive Thinking Questionnaire (McEvoy et al., 2010), developed specifically to measure individuals’ rumination. The negative valence statements comprised 15 items transformed into personal statements for consistency. Similarly, the positive valence statements comprised 15 items, being the same statements used in the negative but transformed to positive meanings. The neutral statements were 15 newly created items.
Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test
The Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT; Geffen et al., 1990; Rey, 1964) was used as the verbal free-recall task, specifically assessing verbal learning. Only List A was used, comprising 15 words, and participants only completed trial one. List A was initially read aloud to participants, and they immediately recalled as many of the words as possible and wrote them on paper provided. After exposure to the ruminative statements, participants were again asked to recall as many words from the initial List A as possible. The RAVLT total score was calculated by summing the number of correct words participants recalled.
Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test
The Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (ROCFT; Kolb & Whishaw, 1985; Osterrieth, 1944; Rey, 1941) was used as the visual free-recall task, specifically assessing visuospatial memory and constructional ability. Participants were shown a complete figure design on a slide and asked to copy it by drawing onto a sheet of paper. They were then asked to replicate the complete design from memory immediately afterwards. After exposure to the ruminative statements, participants were asked again to recall the design from memory, drawing it onto another sheet of paper. The ROCFT total score was the participants’ accuracy for each of the figures’ unit and relative positions within the whole design.
Materials and Procedure
Each session, three participants entered the laboratory and chose a number (1, 2, or 3) to determine which valence group they would be assigned to. They then sat at their designated numbered seat according to the number they drew. Once seated, participants completed a basic demographic questionnaire and the DASS-21 and GAD-7 on their computers via an online Google Forms survey.
Secondly, participants completed a single trial of the RAVLT, recalling as many of the words as they could. Thirdly, participants completed the ROCFT. The figure was presented on a slide and participants copied it onto a piece of paper whilst looking at it as many times as needed. The papers were collected. Participants then attempted to recall the figure by drawing it on another piece of paper, this time without having the figure displayed. Next, the rumination manipulation was presented. Participants put on provided headphones and listened to their respective auditory ruminative recordings, each lasting approximately 5 minutes.
Finally, after the auditory recordings had finished, participants completed the RAVLT and ROCFT again (in the same order as initially completed) to reassess memory recall after exposure to the manipulated ruminative statements to assess and determine interference effects, if any.
The experiment was a 3 × 2 factorial independent groups design. The dependent variable was participants’ change in memory recall score from baseline (i.e., before and after listening to the ruminative statements). The first (between-subjects) independent variable was rumination valence, which varied across three levels: (a) negative, (b) neutral, and (c) positive. The second (within-subjects) independent variable was the free-recall change score, which varied across two levels in each rumination group: verbal and visual.
To examine the effects of rumination on the verbal and visual tasks, two separate 3 (ruminative valence group: negative, neutral, and positive) × 2 (time: before and after) ANOVAs were conducted. The ANOVAs were run separately as the visual and verbal tasks were scored using different scales.
Appropriate assessment of the assumptions for inferential statistics was conducted and are only reported here when violations were detected.
Tests of Assumptions
Sphericity was found to be violated (p < .05), as tested with Mauchly’s test, for both verbal and visual memory tasks, and as such a Huynh-Feldt correction was applied.
The group baseline measurements and tests of equivalence were examined (see Table 1). Groups were equivalent, and there was a larger proportion of women in all groups.
In the verbal free-recall task (see Figure 1), there was no significant main effect for valence group, F(2, 66) = .19, p = .83, η2p = .01, indicating no difference between the negative, neutral, and positive valence groups. However, there was a significant main effect for time, F(1, 66) = 96.53, p < .001, η2p = .59, indicating participants’ performance declined from pre- to post-rumination exposure. In the visual free-recall task (see Figure 2), there was no significant main effect for valence group, F(2, 66) = .97, p = .38, η2p = .03, indicating no difference between the negative, neutral, and positive valence groups. There was also no significant main effect for time, F(1, 66) = .49, p = .49, η2p = .01, indicating participants’ performance did not differ from pre- to post-rumination. There were no significant two-way interactions for either the verbal free-recall task, F(2, 66) = 1.08, p = .35, η2p = .03, or the visual free-recall task, F(2, 66) = .29, p = .75, η2p = .01. This indicates that in both tasks, there was no association between valence group type and pre- and post-rumination scores.
Consequently, Hypothesis 1, which stated participants in the negative ruminative statement group will decrease in performance on the verbal and visual memory tasks, was not supported. Whilst there was a decline in words recalled, no significant interaction was found between time and valence group on either of the two tasks. That is, the effect of time (pre- and post-rumination exposure) and valence group did not interact to impact task scores.
Hypothesis 2, that participants in the positive ruminative statement group would maintain performance (or there would be a smaller negative impact on performance) on the verbal and visual memory tasks, was not supported either as no significant interaction was found.
Hypothesis 3, that participants in the neutral ruminative statement (control) group would maintain performance on the verbal and visual memory tasks, was also not supported as no significant interaction was found.
Hypothesis 4, that there would be a greater performance decrease on the verbal task compared to the visual task, in line with Baddeley’s model, was supported as the decrease in participants’ post-rumination verbal task scores from their pre-rumination verbal task scores was greater compared to participants’ pre- and post-rumination scores on the visual task. Consequently, Hypothesis 5, that there would be a greater performance decrease on the visual task compared to the verbal task, in line with Borkovec’s model, was not supported. This was evident in the significant main effect found for time only on the verbal task, not on the visual task, indicating participants’ pre- and post-rumination test scores only significantly decreased on the verbal task.
Additionally, a one-way ANCOVA was conducted to determine whether there was a statistically significant difference between the ruminative valence groups on verbal and visual memory recall whilst controlling for the DASS-21 Depression, Anxiety, and Stress subscales and GAD score. In the verbal and visual tasks, there were no significant effects (all p > .05) of ruminative valence group on recall whilst controlling for the covariates (see Appendix B, Table B1, for statistical values). These findings indicated no differences between valence groups whilst controlling for each covariate.
This study investigated the link between rumination and cognition. It also examined two competing theoretical models: Baddeley’s working memory model (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974) and Borkovec’s cognitive avoidance theory of worry (Borkovec et al., 1998) regarding rumination and specifically recall task performance. The study investigated whether three different ruminative valence groups (negative, neutral, and positive) had different impacts on individuals’ task performance. Specifically, it examined the interference effects of ruminative statements on participants’ ability to accurately recall verbal and visual material from free-recall tasks. The two models were then explored in relation to the impact rumination had on participants’ memory to determine which model better described the impact that rumination had on individuals’ verbal and visual free-recall task performance.
Valence Groups Results
Contrary to what was hypothesised, the results did not support Hypotheses 1, 2, and 3, suggesting rumination may not have had an impact on individuals’ verbal and visual task performance. In both the verbal and visual free-recall tasks, the results showed no significant effect for valence group type (i.e., negative, neutral, or positive), suggesting the type of rumination participants were exposed to had no significant impact on verbal or visual task performance.
These findings are inconsistent with previous research which has found rumination to impact individuals’ cognitive performance, particularly executive functioning, including attentional control and cognitive flexibility (Brinker et al., 2013). Specifically, poorer attentional control has been correlated with rumination (Hsu et al., 2015; Mills et al., 2016), indicating attentional control to be a key component in memory tasks (DeJong et al., 2019).
Furthermore, research by Hsu et al. (2015) and Mills et al. (2016) has shown poorer attentional control to be associated with higher levels of rumination, suggesting that once exposed to rumination, attentional control should decrease when completing memory tasks. However, no significant results were found in this study, suggesting that rumination did not interfere with participants’ attentional control and therefore did not impact their ability to complete the verbal and visual free-recall tasks after exposure to elicited rumination.
A potential reason for the non-significant findings in this study is that after completing both tasks initially, participants focused their attention on the task stimuli, rather than switching focus to the ruminative auditory recordings. DeJong et al. (2019) did propose a narrowed focus of attention could be advantageous for some tasks by avoiding distraction from stimuli deemed irrelevant. Whilst participants completed both tasks, their working memory would be active and engaged in absorbing relevant information (i.e., the presented words and visual figure), knowing their need to recall it. When participants were asked to listen and pay attention to the ruminative recordings, participants may have had difficulties disengaging from the previous, now irrelevant, verbal and visual tasks, leading to difficulties updating their working memory with the new information. Ultimately, this may have impacted participants’ ability to actively engage in the ruminative statements as they did not have the capacity to properly absorb the new incoming information, a potential explanation for the non-significant results found.
A further possible explanation for the non-significant findings not supporting the proposed hypotheses is participants may have had difficulty disengaging from the verbal and visual tasks, therefore struggling to mentally switch focus towards the auditory recording of the ruminative statements. Altamirano et al.’s (2010) research suggests ruminative tendencies may lead to mental inflexibility by facilitating active cognitive maintenance amongst distraction, which facilitates improvement in the performance of certain tasks. If participants were still largely focused on previous tasks, it is likely full attention would not have been directed on the ruminative statements, potentially impacting participants’ capacity to hear and comprehend the statements and affecting their exposure to rumination and any interference effects that may have resulted.
Decline in Verbal and Visual Memory Performance
The rumination period was associated with a decline in free recall of verbal information, but not visual information, regardless of the valence of the rumination stimuli. Introducing another (verbal) task may have affected participants’ ability to rehearse and recall information from the previous task they were completing (Bennet, 1965). These results are consistent with Baddeley’s working memory model (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974) which proposes that tasks processed by the same subsystem (e.g., articulatory loop) are likely to compete and interfere with one another, whilst tasks processed by different subsystems are not likely to interfere with one another (Ikeda et al., 1996).
Conversely, in the visual free-recall task, no significant effect for time was found, suggesting no decline in participants’ pre- and post-rumination visual task scores. This is also consistent with Baddeley’s working memory model (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974) where participants’ exposure to the verbally presented ruminative statements may not have interfered with their visual task performance as they were processed via different subsystems. Further, it appears at odds with Borkovec’s model (Borkovec et al., 1998) of worry in which verbal-linguistic rumination serves to inhibit processing of visual stimuli.
This study examined two competing theoretical models, Baddeley’s working memory model (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974) and Borkovec’s cognitive avoidance theory of worry (Borkovec et al., 1998), against the findings to determine which model best described the impact rumination had on individuals’ verbal and visual task performance.
Evidently, the findings from this study support Baddeley’s working memory model (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974), suggesting this model better describes the impact rumination may have on individuals’ verbal and visual task performance. This is in line with Hypothesis 4 which predicted a greater performance decrease on the verbal task compared to the visual task, in line with Baddeley’s model. Consequently, Hypothesis 5, which stated a greater performance decrease on the visual task compared to the verbal task, in line with Borkovec’s model, was not supported.
These findings are in line with other research supporting this model, where articulatory suppression (continuous recital of digits) disrupted and interfered with individuals’ performance on a verbal reasoning task, but not on a visual-spatial reasoning task (Farmer et al., 1986). Conversely, spatial suppression (continuous sequential tapping) produced interference only with individuals’ spatial reasoning performance, and not verbal reasoning performance (Farmer et al., 1986). Additionally, other research by Nitschke et al. (1999) found verbalisation of task-irrelevant information interfered with participants’ articulatory loop (a key component involved in verbal working memory), whilst the visuospatial sketchpad (a key component involved in nonverbal working memory) was unaffected. Further research is needed to continue examining these theoretical models in the area of rumination and task performance to determine which model is a better fit and if that varies in different circumstances (e.g., indoor or outdoor environment) or demographics (e.g., gender).
This study’s results have several implications including adding to pre-existing literature, highlighting rumination impacts on individuals’ verbal and visual task performance, and demonstrating potential impacts on other life aspects.
Firstly, these results expanded upon existing literature regarding rumination effects on task performance by specifically investigating the effects on verbal and visual free-recall tasks. This assisted in indicating whether rumination interferes with verbal tasks, visual tasks, or both.
Secondly, these results identified which of the investigated theoretical models, Baddeley’s or Borkovec’s (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974; Borkovec et al., 1998), was more accurate in relation to rumination interferences on visual and verbal tasks. This allows for a deeper insight and understanding into the two presented models and key aspects that may be important in rumination and task performance.
These contributions suggest that rumination does not have a significant impact on verbal and visual task performance, indicating the link between rumination and cognition may not be as significant as earlier studies have shown, at least on recall tasks. Furthermore, this new research may further equip practitioners with knowledge into what tasks or parts of the brain rumination may typically interfere with and impact. This may help practitioners and researchers identify and further develop research strategies and tools to target and help decrease individuals’ rumination patterns.
One limitation of this study was the use of a non-clinical student sample. Students are likely to already be under stress from their own studies and personal commitments, with literature indicating university as a high-stress period for individuals (Ribeiro et al., 2018). Therefore, it is possible that if participants were experiencing high levels of stress, it impacted task performance. Whilst participants’ stress levels were tested and controlled for and results indicated stress did not significantly affect participants’ task performance, it would still be worth investigating in future research as an individual factor. Examining stress as an individual factor (compared to using a subscale) may allow researchers to gain a more accurate and broader understanding of individuals’ stress levels. It would be expected that individuals experiencing greater personal stress would result in poorer task performance as research suggests the greater stress an individual is experiencing, the poorer they perform on memory tasks (Jelici et al., 2009).
A further limitation of this study, worth exploring in future research, would be assessment of participants’ attention on the rumination stimuli. This was not controlled for or measured and would be a valuable aspect to examine. This could be done by asking participants to recall as many of the ruminative statements they were exposed to as possible, prior to completing both tasks for the second time. It would be expected that participants who did not pay attention to the presented rumination would not differ in task performance and those who did pay attention to the rumination would differ in task performance.
Further additional research topics to consider could be duration of rumination exposure and participants’ self-evaluated task confidence. Investigating whether the duration of the ruminative statement recordings impacts individuals’ task performance could be studied by splitting participants into groups where each group listens to the recordings for a different length of time (e.g., 2, 5, or 10 minutes). Researchers could then determine if differences in task performance between the three groups exist. If an individual is exposed to negative stimuli for a longer period of time, then it may be expected that the impact on the individual would be greater, compared to being exposed to positive stimuli. If future research was conducted in an extension to this study, the greater impact may suggest poorer task performance.
Finally, adding in a self-report questionnaire for participants to complete at the end of the experiment to explore how they think they performed would be beneficial in understanding participants’ own perspective on their performance. This could be done after the initial verbal and visual task and then again after completing both tasks after the rumination exposure. It may be interesting to investigate if participants’ personal perceptions of their performance differ at pre- and post-rumination exposure and also if differences in confidence exist between the valence groups participants are assigned to.
This study examined and determined whether rumination impacted individuals’ verbal and visual task performance. More specifically, it explored whether three different ruminative valence groups (negative, neutral, and positive) differed in impact on participants’ verbal and visual free-recall task performance. This was investigated by inspecting the interference effects that rumination had on participants’ ability to recall stimuli information from both verbal and visual tasks. Contrary to what was hypothesised, these findings suggest rumination may not have an impact and may not interfere with individuals’ verbal and visual task performance. Additionally, this study also examined Baddeley’s working memory model (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974) and Borkovec’s cognitive avoidance theory of worry model (Borkovec et al., 1998) to determine which better described the impact rumination had on individuals’ task performance. These findings show support for Baddeley’s model in that the presentation of the rumination statements aligns better with Baddeley’s model theory compared to Borkovec’s model.
This study has highlighted several implications, including adding to pre-existing literature, demonstrating the impacts rumination may have on individuals’ verbal and visual task performance, and informing health practitioners about the link between rumination and cognition. This research provides insight into the types of strategies and tools that may be beneficial in combatting and decreasing individuals’ rumination tendencies, noting the differences between verbal and written task strategies in comparison to imagery and visual task strategies. Furthermore, this report has highlighted the limitations of this study and encouraged and identified areas for future research. Those areas include investigation into potential gender differences, age differences, duration of rumination recordings, and further exploration of the two theoretical models. These are imperative research topics to be investigated in order to deepen our understanding of rumination and task performance.