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Cognitive Distortion: Propositions and Possible Worlds

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Abstract

In this article the concept of cognitive distortions is explored. Recent scholarship has established that the concept of cognitive distortions is not clear. However, in order for any scientific body of literature to progress an adequate degree of conceptual clarity is a requirement. Samples concerning cognitive distortions are drawn from the cognitive theory and therapy literatures. First, a small sample is subjected to an analysis where its contents are reduced to a cross-section of propositions. Altogether, 24 propositions concerning the concept of cognitive distortion are extracted from this first sampling. These propositions are then subjected to a preliminary thematic analysis, which is then extended to samples from nine additional articles before basic set theory is used to calculate the number of all possible worlds of semantics present within the literature. 567 possible worlds of cognitive distortion emerge from this calculation. Although a finished concept of cognitive distortions is not suggested here, a working hypothesis is posited in order to assist in the progress of research. Henceforth, until further deliberation has taken place, it is argued that a cognitive distortion is defined as a clinically relevant type of problematic cognition with a specifiable operational status and scope. It would help if practitioners and researchers specify the properties of these categories while utilizing a common vocabulary in order to improve the clarity of communication in the field.

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Correspondence to Shane Sparkes Guglielmo.

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Guglielmo, S.S. Cognitive Distortion: Propositions and Possible Worlds. J Rat-Emo Cognitive-Behav Ther 33, 53–77 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10942-014-0202-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10942-014-0202-7

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