A controlled study of the effects of information on premenstrual expectancy and daily mood ratings

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Virginia Tech

Previous research on premenstrual tension has typically focused on the hormonal or biological theories of premenstrual tension. Recent research, however, has begun to show a relationship between negative expectancies and reports of premenstrual suffering. In this study it was hypothesized that negative expectancies could be changed by exposing participants to information which either increased or decreased their sense of control over premenstrual symptomatology. It was proposed that information which offered participants a way to control premenstrual symptoms would decrease expectations while information which informed participants that they could not control their symptoms would increase negative expectations. In this study it was further hypothesized that participants exposed to information which decreased their negative expectancies would report more positive moods during the premenstrual phase of the menstrual cycle than those subjects exposed to information which increased their expectations for premenstrual tension. Results from this study supported the hypothesis that expectancies for premenstrual tension are related to the participants' sense of control over premenstrual tension. However, results did not show a relationship between daily reports of mood during the premenstrual phase and negative expectations.