Repression and sensitization define two cognitive styles for coping with threatening stimuli. In this study differences in reaction times to recognize blurred visual stimuli were investigated. These stimuli were presented on a computer screen in the continuously refining grid patterns, which first show totally blurred neutral, pleasant and unpleasant pictures. The person tested is asked to stop the refining, as soon as s/he thinks that they know what is on the picture. This computerized setting was applied to a sample of N = 183 persons who also filled out the Mainz Coping Inventory (Krohne, Egloff, 1999). According to the differences in reaction time between pleasant and unpleasant stimuli, the groups of repressors and sensitizers can be identified. No relevant correlations between the differences in perception times and the questionnaire were found. This might be related to the different approaches of two assessment techniques (perception and reaction modalities). The results are discussed in terms of their practical applicability. The guidelines for further research projects, and further development are given.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.