Paul Lucian SZASZ Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania Abstract The present study investigated the relationships between two forms of ruminative thoughts, brooding, and reflective processing, in relation with irrational beliefs and their impact on distress. While significant amount of data support the role of irrational beliefs and depressive rumination as vulnerability factors in distress, no attempts […]
An analysis of the relationship between irrational beliefs and automatic thoughts in predicting distress
The present study examined the relationship between irrational beliefs and automatic thoughts in predicting distress (i.e., depressed mood in patients with major depressive disorder). Although both constructs have been hypothesized and found to predict emotional reactions in stressful situations, the relationships between these two types of cognitions in predicting distress has not been sufficiently addressed in empirical studies. Our results show that both irrational beliefs and automatic thoughts are related to distress (i.e., depression/depressed mood), and that the effects of irrational beliefs on distress are partially mediated by automatic thoughts.
The present study is an investigation of the relationship between irrational beliefs and thought suppression in predicting distress in cancer patients. While there is a significant amount of data supporting their role as vulnerability factors for distress, no attempts have been made so far to study the relationships between these two individual characteristics. Our results show that both irrational beliefs and thought suppression are related to distress, and that the impact of irrational beliefs on distress is completely mediated by thought suppression. Potential mechanisms and implications are discussed.
At present, in the scientific literature concerning negative emotions and distress the unitary model of distress is the dominant model. According to this model, high levels of distress are conceptualized as a high level of negative affect while low levels of distress are conceptualized as a low level of negative affect. The binary model of distress, initially elaborated by Albert Ellis (1994), describes distress as a binary construct, consisting of two distinct components: functional negative emotions and dysfunctional negative emotions. In the present study, using 72 first year undergraduate students as subjects, we tested hypotheses based on the two models of distress: the unitary model and the binary model. The outcome shows qualitative differences between functional negative emotions and dysfunctional negative emotions, gaining support for the binary model of distress. Promising practical implications for psychotherapy are discussed.