Extreme cognitions are associated with diminished ability to use disconfirming evidence

Haigh, Matthew and Dodd, Alyson (2017) Extreme cognitions are associated with diminished ability to use disconfirming evidence. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 90 (1). pp. 70-83. ISSN 2044-8341

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/papt.12096


Objectives - An Integrative Cognitive Model of mood swings and bipolar disorder proposes that cognitive styles characterised by extreme self-referent appraisals of internal states (e.g., ‘If I have a bad night’s sleep it means that I am about to have a breakdown’) interfere with mood regulation. The aim of this study is to determine whether strong endorsement of such appraisals is predicted by a diminished ability to access disconfirming counterexamples.

Design - We examined whether the ability to access two different categories of counterexample (known as Disabling Conditions and Alternative Causes) would predict endorsement of extreme appraisals (measured by the Hypomanic Attitudes and Positive Predictions Inventory; HAPPI) and mania risk (measured by the Hypomanic Personality Scale; HPS).

Method - A non-clinical sample of 150 students completed the HAPPI, the HPS and a conditional reasoning task that indexed the ability to access Disabling Conditions and Alternative Causes. Current mood was controlled for using the Internal States Scale.

Results - The ability to make use of disabling counterexamples during the reasoning task was inversely related with scores on the HAPPI (r= -.19, p<.05); participants that were less able to make use of disabling counterexamples endorsed extreme self-referent appraisals to a greater extent. There was no association between the use of alternative cause counterexamples and the HAPPI, and no association between either measure of counterexample generation and the HPS.

Conclusions - A diminished ability to use disconfirming evidence when reasoning about the world may reinforce problematic cognitive styles such as extreme, personalised appraisals of experience, which can interfere with mood regulation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: reasoning bias, conditionals, beliefs, counterexamples, bipolar disorder, appraisals, hypomanic personality
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 23 May 2016 15:11
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 06:35
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/26930

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