Although Russians do brood, they don't succumb to depression like other Westerners do, claims a new study.
"Russians focus more on their negative feelings than Americans do, but they spontaneously distance themselves from their emotions to a greater extent than Americans, who tend to immerse themselves in their recalled experiences," said U-M researcher Igor Grossmann.
In the study, the researchers examined the prevalence of self-reflection and depression among 85 U.S. students and 83 Russian students.
Tests designed to measure levels of brooding and depressive symptoms revealed that even though Russians tend to brood, they are less likely than Americans to feel as depressed as a result.
Compared to the Americans, the Russians also showed less distress after recalling a sad experience, and were less likely to blame the other person in their analysis of the experience.
"These findings add to a growing body of research demonstrating that it's possible for people to reflect on negative experiences either adaptively or maladaptively," Grossmann said.
The study will be published in the August issue of Psychological Science.