Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 241–253 | Cite as

The Cognitive Flexibility Inventory: Instrument Development and Estimates of Reliability and Validity

  • John P. Dennis
  • Jillon S. Vander Wal
Original Article


The cognitive flexibility inventory (CFI) was developed to be a brief self-report measure of the type of cognitive flexibility necessary for individuals to successfully challenge and replace maladaptive thoughts with more balanced and adaptive thinking. It was designed to measure three aspects of cognitive flexibility: (a) the tendency to perceive difficult situations as controllable; (b) the ability to perceive multiple alternative explanations for life occurrences and human behavior; and (c) the ability to generate multiple alternative solutions to difficult situations. The two studies presented in this manuscript describe the initial development of the CFI and a 7-week longitudinal study. Results from these studies indicate the CFI has a reliable two-factor structure, excellent internal consistency, and high 7-week test–retest reliability. Preliminary evidence was obtained for the CFI’s convergent construct validity via the CFI’s correlations with other measures of cognitive flexibility (Cognitive Flexibility Scale) and coping (Ways of Coping Checklist-Revised), respectively. Support was also demonstrated for the concurrent construct validity of the CFI via its correlation with the BDI-II. Further research is needed to investigate the reliability and validity of the CFI among clinical populations.


Cognitive flexibility Cognitive flexibility inventory (CFI) Coping Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) Depression 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologySaint Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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