Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 1069–1088 | Cite as

Measurement of Positive Irrational Beliefs (Positive Cognitive Illusions)

  • J. J. CollardEmail author
  • R. A. Cummins
  • M. Fuller-Tyskiewicz
Research Paper


The role of positive irrational beliefs (positive cognitive illusions) in mental health has been debated over several decades. The measurement of such beliefs has usually been through inferential assessment, which has been heavily criticised. This paper sought to establish a measure for the direct assessment of such beliefs and to assess their relationship to subjective wellbeing (SWB). Over two studies this new measure was found to have a factor structure consistent with its design, assessing self-enhancing beliefs, beliefs rejecting imperfection, overly optimistic beliefs, and irrational beliefs of control. When combined, these beliefs account for 17.6 % of the variance with SWB. This is driven largely by a higher order factor, which demonstrates a positive relationship to SWB. However, individually the different types of irrational beliefs demonstrate a variety of relationships with SWB. It is therefore concluded that positive irrational beliefs, when directly assessed, provide a greater depth of information than they do when assessed inferentially.


Positive Irrational Beliefs Illusions Wellbeing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. Collard
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • R. A. Cummins
    • 1
  • M. Fuller-Tyskiewicz
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyDeakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Cairnmillar InstituteMelbourneAustralia

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