PS251 Personality Exam 4

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Trait Aspects of Personality

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Trait Aspects of Personality

-definition: this approach uses a limited set of adjectives to describe and scale people -it attempts to capture stable notions of personalty through systematic scientific means -important terms: Jung, Cattel, 16PF, Allport, Big 5, Implicit Personality Theory, Eysenck, 3 Dimensions, Murray

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Carl Jung

-launched the trait approach -believed that there are 2 main personality types: introverted and extroverted, we all have both but one is dominant -Extroversion-- orientation towards things outside of oneself -Introversion--tendency to turn inward and explore one's feelings and experiences -the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is based on Jung's personality types

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R.B Cattell

-took Allport's observations and reduced the traits statistically -used factor analysis/cluster analysis

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Factor analysis/Cluster Analysis

R.B Cattel gathered info from multiple sources: -T-Data -L-Data -Q-Data

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  • test situation

  • R.B Cattel gave tests and observed how people responded

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  • life data

  • R.B Cattel interviewed those close to the person

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  • questionnaires

  • from Q-Data, R.B Cattel developed the 16PF (personality factors) -16PF- there are 16 factors and using factor analysis can tell us where someone falls on each factor

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Gordon Allport

-saw the notion of "stable" traits as inadequate -rather, he believed that behavior is variable BUT there is a constant, core portion of each person, called the proprium -this is an idiographic approach

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  • allport

  • the core of someone

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Super Patriot

  • allport

  • our belief is the only way

  • view those who are different as objects to scorn or despise

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4 types of dispositions (allport)

  1. Nuclear Quality

  2. Personal

  3. Cardinal

  4. Central

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Nuclear Quality

Allport's term for describing personal dispositions in terms of a person's unique goals, motives, or styles

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Personal Dispositions

Allport's term for disposition that is peculiar to an individual, something that makes you stand out

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Cardinal Dispositions


  • aspects of the personal dispositions that exert overwhelming influence on behavior

  • personality is rooted within the person, though behavior may differ based on the situation

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Central Dispositions

Allport's term for fundamental qualities that succinctly portray individual; how our personality is organized

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The Big 5

-5 personality traits that capture common personality elements

  • controversial because it reduces personality to five variables

  • present in all cultures, expect those who do not interact with the western world

  • research based

  1. Extroversion (aka surgency)

  2. Agreeableness

  3. Conscientiousness (aka lack of impulsivity)

  4. Neuroticism (aka emotional stability)

  5. Openness (aka openness to experience, culture or intellect)

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The Big 5: Extroversion

-aka surgency -high: energetic, talkative, sociable, dominant -low: shy, retiring, submissive, quiet

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The Big 5: Agreeableness

-high: friendly, cooperative, trusting, warm -low: cold, quarrelsome, unkind

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The Big 5: Conscientiousness

aka lack of impulsivity *early research on personality called this dimension “will” -high: cautious, dependable, persevering, organized, responsible -low: impulsive, careless, disorderly, undependable

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The Big 5: Neuroticism

  • aka emotional stability *Freudian term -high: NOT emotionally stable, nervous, tense, moody, worrying, high strung -low: stable, calm, contended

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The Big 5: Openness

  • aka openness to experience, culture, or intellect -high: imaginative, witty, original, sarcastic -low: shallow, plain, simple

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Implicit Personality Theory (Asche)

  • part of social psychology

  • the theory that certain traits go together and we're not necessarily aware that we group them together.

  • there are consistencies in how we see things, particularly other people's personalities. We may erroneously group traits together

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Cross-Cultural Research on Big 5

  • cross-cultural research confirms that the big 5 personality types exist in many different cultures, proving that the big 5 are not the result of stereotypes

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Big 3 (Eysenck's Perspective)

-found the big 5 were repetitive, so reduced them to 3 -Eysenck's 3 dimensions:

  1. Extroversion

  2. Neuroticism

  3. new trait: Psychoticism -this approach does NOT directly account for openness

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Eysenck's 3 Dimensions: Extroversion

  • outgoingness and assertiveness (borrowed from Cattell)

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Eysenck's 3 Dimensions: Neuroticism

  • emotional stability and apprehensiveness

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Eysenck's 3 Dimensions: Psychoticism

-the tendency toward psychopathology -high: impulsive, cruel, shrewd, low on agreeableness and shrewdness -includes Cattell's tough-mindedness and shrewdness

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Temperament (Eysenck's Perspective)

  • Eysenck took a biological approach, he found that: A. Extroverts have low level of brain arousal and need outside stimulation. B. Introverts have high level brain arousal and shy away from over-stimulation situations. C. Neurotics don't have a well modulated nervous system and can't self-sooth

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Research on Eysenck's Approach

  • there's MIXED research on the validity of this theory

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Consensus in Personality Judgements (validity)

(1) Zero Acquaintance- the state we are in when we observe someone with whom we have never interacted (2) use collateral sources (self-ratings, peer-ratings, and even spouse-ratings) - same Big 5 dimensions emerge among past research (McCrae & Costa, 1987) (3) Successful in predicting future behavior and outcomes (Friedman, Kern, & Reynolds, 2010; Friedman & Martin, 2011; Ozer & Benet-Martinez, 2006)

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Types & Motives (Henry Murray's Perspective)

Types are not always predictable, so focus on motives -- internal neuropsychological patterns that induce a behavior:

  1. Achievement

  2. Affiliation: Want to spend time with other people

  3. Dominance: power

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Basic Needs (Henry Murray's Perspective)

determine motivations (expressive style, achievement, affiliation, dominance)

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Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) (Henry Murray's Perspective)

Tested different motivations. Show the patient pictures and tell them to come up with a story for the pics. Do this over time and you will see themes and from there you can assess their motivations.

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Expressive Style

(a) emotional expressiveness (temperament) – individual has typical ways of expressing or inhibiting feelings - Part of temperament is how you express things - People with emotional expressiveness are able read people - Behaviorally visible, hard to inhibit (hand gestures)

(b) dominance, leadership, influence - take charge, good leadership skills

(c) expressiveness and health - Affects health (see below) - Toxic anger is when the person internalizes their anger - Causes alienation when there’s under expressiveness

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Horney: Real Self (innate)

People are born with a real self that needs a safe environment to develop; includes our potential for self-realization

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Horney: Favorable conditions for growth

(1) Security (2) Warmth (3) Inner freedom to have own thoughts and feelings (4) Being able to express thoughts and feelings (5) Needing others for guidance and limits

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Horney: Basic Anxiety

  • you're born into an environment that should be a good fit if not, you'll develop basic anxiety

  • this anxiety can continue throughout life (lost & lonely adults)

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Horney: 3 ways of Dealing with the "World"

  1. Towards (passive)

  2. Against (aggressive)

  3. Withdrawn

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Horney: Idealized Self vs. Real Self

  • Those with basic anxiety create an idealized self -- what one views as perfection and hopes to achieve (influenced by "shoulds") -- Horney argued the purpose of psychotherapy was not to achieve the idealized self, but rather to accept the real self

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Horney: "Goodness of Fit"

Prevents insecurity from developing; children need to be in a favorable environment in order to self-actualize

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Horney: Flexibility vs. Rigidity

Flexible: people have a mix of moving toward, against, and withdrawing from the world Rigid: only use one all the time; when rigidity increases we get alienated from our real self

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Horney: Different Views of Males and Females

  • Oedipus/electra complex was wrong

  • girls do not envy penis

  • girls do not change their area of pleasure

  • girls do not change their love from mother to father

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Horney: Comprehensive Neurotic Solution (3 Types)

  1. Need for perfection

  2. Neurotic ambition-- you set the bar impossibly high for yourself and need to be the master of time, space and dimension

  3. Vindictive Triumph-- you're out for revenge against other people

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Different Socialization for males and females


  • boys and girls are socialized differently

  • boys have injuries earlier than girls

  • at around age 2, boys are pushed away from moms (girls go through this at around age 9

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infantile dependence

completely dependent on the caregiver for warmth, needs met

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4 aspects of "masculinity"


  1. Masculinity remains a problem for boys (bc they are told to never talk about their feelings, but they still have feelings)

  2. Denial of attachment in relationships (bc they're pushed away from their moms early)

  3. Repression of anything feminine within the self

  4. Devaluing femininity

  • mean are more likely to boomerang after a fight

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"Schizophrenigenic" mother

  • "crazy making mother"

  • the child having psychological problems is the mother's fault

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boy code


  • give em' hell

  • no sissys

  • boys run in packs w/ a leader (alpha) - big wheel

  • dont depend on anybody - sturdy oak

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How women are psychologically different

  1. more flexible ego boundaries

  2. less individuated (value on-going affiliation)

  3. less need for competition, power

  4. value "related"-ness

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Kohlberg's 6 stages of Moral Development

  1. Deference to Authority

  2. Reward Orientation

  3. Concern for Others

  4. Doing One's Duty

  5. Social Contract Orientation

  6. Universal Ethical Principle

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Carol Gilligan connection to Chodorow

  • heavily influence by Chodorow and her findings supported Chodorow's

  • found that boys are more competitive and girls are more sensitive

  • boys do more interactive play; girls do more parallel play

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What Gilligan discovered

  • Error in Kohlberg's study (moral reasoning)

  • Females are socialized to think about others when making decisions/choices

  • In a couple (heterosexual), the female may be more aware of what's going on than the male

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Gilligan's views of Moral development

  • Concern for Others occurs mostly in females

  • Doing One's Duty occurs mostly in males

  • Doesn't agree with Kohlberg's statement Doing one's duty is a higher stage of development than having concern for others

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5 levels of Intimacy (Real)

  1. thoughts

  2. feelings

  3. physical closeness

  4. spirituality - making common memories

  5. sexuality

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Different socialization and “deformities” (Real)

  • Men are “injured” in early childhood & learn not to express emotions

  • Women are “deformed” in adolescence and lose their voice

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''Soul of blunt''

  • Real -5 levels of intimacy -3 rings of patriarchy -3 stages of love -New views on couples therapy-- neutrality does NOT work

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Real: 3 Rings of Patriarchy

  1. The great divide/Halving-- we divide everything based on what's masculine and what's feminine

  2. Dance of contempt-- the psychology of oppression. We value the masculine over the feminine

  3. Code of silence-- men are taught they can't speak about their emotions, so they remain silent

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Real: 3 Stages of Love

  1. Love without knowledge-- beginning of a relationship when you're in love with someone, but don't know them so well

  2. Knowledge without love-- once you get to know someone, you learn more about them and may not be as compatible as you thought

  3. Mature love-- working through challenges and being okay. Communication is key. Only 50% of relationships make it here.

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Real: 3 Levels of Daily-Related-ness

  1. harmony

  2. disharmony

  3. repair

  • in a relationship, this is a continuous cycle you go through

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Real: Process of repair (3 phases)

  1. speaking & listening

  2. responding with generosity

  3. empowering each other

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two kinds of people (in love)

Love addicts (enmeshed): don't feel secure when they're partner isn't next to them

Love avoiders: take off once relationship gets serious

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Traditional Couples Therapy (Real)

  • Traditional couples therapy, not effective due to issues of “neutrality”

  • Traditional approach helped more “functional” couples but may have done disservice to more disturbed couples (e.g. in cases of domestic violence)

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Pre-conditions for couples therapy (Real)

  1. Manage psychiatric disorders

  2. no acting out

  3. no substance abuse

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Real's Treatment approach

  • Create a safe space to be intimate in

  • Take both sides, just at different times woman first and then man

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What men need to learn (Real)

men learn to be relational (not boomerang)

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What women need to learn (Real)

women learn to speak directly

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classical conditioning

  • Pavlov

  • a type of learning in which one learns to link two or more stimuli and anticipate events

  • learning that occurs through paired associations

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second order conditioning

  • a conditioned stimulus is paired with a stimulus that became associated with the unconditioned stimulus in an earlier procedure

  • generalization ex: the environment becomes part of the fear

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unconditioned stimulus & response

biological and nature made, has not been conditioned

  • UCS: food

  • UCR: salivation (reflex)

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conditioned stimulus & response

learned stimulus/response

  • CS: bell

  • CR: salivation

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Little Albert

  • phobias can develop through conditioning

  • Albert developed a conditioned fear of a white rat (CS) because it was paired with a loud noise (UCS)

  • Generalization: Albert began to fear other, similar stimuli (other fluffy white objects)

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  • gray area: similar enough that the fear translates over

  • generalization discrimination: you’re afraid of dentists bc of a horrible experience, but you’re not scared of doctors; the two are different enough to discriminate between them

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ABC's of behaviorsm

Thorndike Antecedent Behavior Consequences A+C = operant conditioning A+B = classical conditioning

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Law of effects

  • Thorndike

  • if we receive a negative reaction to our behavior we are less likely to do it again

  • if we receive a positive reaction to our behavior we are more likely to do it again

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trial & error learning

Thorndike a method of problem solving characterized by repeated, varied attempts until success

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instrumental conditioning

Thorndike A form of conditioning in which the correct response is essential for reinforcement

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operant conditioning


  • focused on voluntary behavior and the reinforcement that shapes it

  • method of learning that occurs through rewards & punishments for behavior

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negative reinforcement


  • negative = a stimulus was taken away

  • reinforcement = the behavior will increase

  • a stimulus was taken away in order to increase behavior e.g. Billy cleans his room and his mom doesn't make him do chores so that Billy will clean his room in the future

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positive reinforcement


  • positive = a stimulus was added

  • reinforcement = the behavior will increase

  • the addition of a stimulus in order to increase behavior e.g. Billy cleans his room and mom gives him ice cream so that Billy will clean his room in the future

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Skinner give something bad to decrease behavior physical punishment increases anxiety; running away behavior

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Skinner get rid of a behavior by getting rid of a rewarding part of it

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Skinner gradual reinforcement to a certain behavior; moving a behavior towards what you want (critical: it is gradual)

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schedules of reinforcement

Skinner Ratio (based on number of responses): (1) Fixed Ratio (2) Variable Ratio

Interval (based on time): (1) Fixed Interval (2) Variable Interval

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Variable Ratio

rewards comes following irregular schedule - most resistant to extinction e.g. slot machine (highest)

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Fixed Ratio

  • specific number of responses for a reward e.g. work for a grade, frequent flyer miles (high)

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Fixed Interval

specific amount of time e.g. mail (lowest w/ scallops)

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Variable Interval

irregular time e.g. pop quizzes, speed traps (moderate/slow & steady)

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Relationship between thoughts & feelings


  • they are connected

  • thoughts impact emotions

  • emotions impact thoughts

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“self talk”


  • when something negative occurs -> automatic response

  • if irrational, results in negative feelings

  • inner monologue

  • how a person describes a situation to themselves

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8 Basic concepts

Ellis (1) Potential to be rational as well as irrational.

(2) Frequently exacerbated by their culture and their family group.

(3) Humans tend to perceive, think, emote, and behave simultaneously.

(4) Focus of treatment is highly cognitive, active-directive, HW assigning, & discipline-oriented.

(5) A warm relationship between counselor &counselee is not a necessary or sufficient condition for effective personality change.

(6) Multi-modal approach

(7) Virtually all serious emotional problems directly stem from magical, thinking; if disturbance-creating ideas are vigorously disputed by logico-empirical thinking, they can be eliminated or minimized.

(8) Insights often do not lead to major personality change

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Theory of Personality


  1. physiological basis

  2. social aspects of personality

  3. psychological aspects of personality

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Physiological aspects of personality


  • humans are naturally inclined to do x over y

  • don't make yourself do something that's not you

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Social aspects of personality

Ellis Emotional problems happen when we care too much about others think

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Psychological aspects of personality

Ellis We live in our heads and needlessly upset ourselves

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Irrational thoughts

Ellis Also called dysfunctional thoughts. In Ellis's model and therapy, these are defined as thoughts that are likely to interfere with a person's happiness.

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Ellis Living by a set of unrealistic and rigid demands placed on oneself, others, and the world:

  1. I must do well

  2. You must treat me well

  3. The world must be easy

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10 common cognitive distortions


  1. All or nothing thinking

  2. Overgeneralization

  3. Mental Filter 4.Disqualifiying the positive

  4. Jumping to conclusions (mind reading/ fortune teller error)

  5. Magnification/ Catastrophizing or minimizing

  6. Emotional reasoning

  7. Should statements

  8. Labeling/Mislabeling

  9. Personalization

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Ellis believes thoughts and feelings are irrational

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  • subset of CBT

  • dialectic – irreverence

  • beliefs that thoughts are irrational but are not in context of their life

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Rational Emotive Therapy


  • forerunner to CBT

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