Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Depressive Cognitive Triad

  • Patrick PösselEmail author
  • Caroline M. Pittard
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_973-1


Depressive cognitive triad is used to describe negative views of depressed individuals about themselves, the world, and the future (Beck 1976).


In Aaron T. Beck’s cognitive model (1976), schemata, cognitive errors, cognitive triad, and automatic thoughts are central to the development and maintenance of depression. Schemata are relatively enduring, organizing structures that guide situational information processing. Dysfunctional schemata are negative in content and consist of immature, absolute, and rigid attitudes about the self and its relation to the world. When activated by stress, dysfunctional schemata lead to cognitive errors, the next step in the causal pathway to depression. Cognitive errors cause an individual’s perception and thinking to be unrealistic, extreme, and distorted in a negative way. As a result of these processes, depressed individuals hold a set of beliefs about themselves, the world, and the future, which is referred to as the...


Cognitive Therapy Negative View Depressed Individual Automatic Thought Total Failure 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Charlie Reeve
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North Carolina-CharlotteCharlotteUSA