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The organization and the nature of irrational beliefs: schemas or appraisal?

Vol V, No. 2, 2005 Comments (0)

Aurora SZENTAGOTAI,
Babes-Bolyai University, Department of Psychology, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Julie SCHNUR
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Biobehavioral and Integrative Medicine Programs, New York, U.S.A.,
Raymond DiGIUSEPPE
St. John’s University, Department of Psychology, New York, U.S.A.,
Bianca MACAVEI, Eva KALLAY,
Babes-Bolyai University, Department of Psychology, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Daniel DAVID,
Babes-Bolyai University, Department of Psychology, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Biobehavioral and Integrative Medicine Programs, New York, U.S.A.,

Abstract
An important question that cognitive-behavioral and rational-emotive therapy (CBT/REBT) needs to address concerns the organization and the nature of cognitions we refer to as irrational beliefs (IBs). Some authors argue that IBs are evaluative (hot) cognitions and as such, they should be linked to appraisal theory, while others argue that IBs are organized as schemas (cold cognitions), and should be related to schema theory. The three studies in the present article address the issue of the nature of IBs, using schema theory as a research tool. Our findings indicate that whereas demandingness (DEM) and global evaluation/self-downing (GE/SD) seem to be organized as schemas (study 2), awfulizing/catastrophizing (AWF) (study 1) and frustration intolerance (FI) (study 3) can be better conceptualized in terms of appraisal. In addition, DEM seems to be strongly associated with GE/SD, AWF, and FI; this finding supports the CBT/REBT assumption about DEM being the core irrational belief.

Key words: irrational beliefs, schemas, appraisal

Pages: 139-158

Republished in the Annals of Oradea State University-Psychology, 2007

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