'Folk Theories' about the causes of Insomnia

Allison G. Harvey, Adriane Soehner, Tania Lombrozo, Lynda Bélanger, Jamie Rifkin, Charles M. Morin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study investigates 'folk theories' about the causes of insomnia. Participants with insomnia (n = 69) completed a qualitative and quantitative assessment of their folk theories. The qualitative assessment was to speak aloud for 1 min in response to: 'What do you think causes your insomnia?'. The quantitative assessment involved completing the 'Causal Attributions of My Insomnia Questionnaire' (CAM-I), developed for this study. The three most common folk theories for both the causes of one's own insomnia as well as insomnia in others were 'emotions', 'thinking patterns' and 'sleep-related emotions'. Interventions targeting these factors were also perceived as most likely to be viable treatments. Seventy-five percent of the folk theories of insomnia investigated with the CAM-I were rated as more likely to be alleviated by a psychological versus a biological treatment. The results are consistent with research highlighting that folk theories are generally coherent and inform a range of judgments. Future research should focus on congruence of 'folk theories' between treatment providers and patients, and the role of folk theories in treatment choice, engagement, compliance and outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1048-1057
Number of pages10
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

Keywords

  • Causal attributions
  • Folk theories
  • Insomnia

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of ''Folk Theories' about the causes of Insomnia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this