Psychology Publications

Document Type


Publication Date



International Journal of Cognitive Therapy





URL with Digital Object Identifier


The ability to assess and correct biases in thinking is central to cognitive-behavioral therapy. Although measures of cognitive distortions exist, no measure comprehensively assesses the cognitive errors that are typically cited in the literature. The development and initial validation of the Cognitive Distortions Scale (CDS), a questionnaire that measures the tendency to make 10 cognitive distortions (e.g., mindreading, catastrophizing, all-or-nothing thinking) as they occur in interpersonal and achievement domains, is described. Across two studies, undergraduate students (n = 318) completed the CDS and other clinically relevant measures. The CDS and its two subscales appear to exhibit good psychometric properties; however, a factor analysis supported the use of a one-factor solution. Additional analyses suggested that some errors occur more frequently in some domains than others and that some errors may have more clinical significance than others. Notwithstanding issues inherent in measuring cognitive errors, and study limitations, the CDS appears to be a promising new measure of cognitive distortion, with good research and clinical potential.

Find in your library

Included in

Psychology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.