Rumination is posited to encompass both beneficial and deleterious roles in problem solving. Previous work has suggested these dual roles based upon categorical factors derived from reporting on measures of trait rumination. However, the effects of the continuous dimension of trait rumination on general problem solving performance have not yet been elucidated. In this study we examined the relationship between trait rumination and problem solving ability on Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (RAPM). Results from two independent studies and a Monte Carlo simulation demonstrated a significant inverted U-shaped relationship between trait rumination and RAPM performance. These results suggest that the extent to which trait rumination is beneficial or deleterious to problem solving is contingent upon the degree of its expression.
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