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Leadership, Coaching & OD Glossary

Cognitive Distortions

Thoughts that convince us that our negative thinking and emotions are facts.

Common Cognitive Distortions (Source: Burns, 2012):

  • All or Nothing Thinking
  • Overgeneralization
  • Mental Filter - dwell on single neg. item
  • Discount  the Positive
  • Jumping to Conclusions
    • Mind reading
    •  Fortune teller error
  • Catastrophizing or Minimization
  • Emotional Reasoning – I feel it, so it is a fact
  • Should Statements
  • Labeling and Mislabeling – Instead of focusing on an error, you personalize it –“I am so stupid.”
  • Blame – see self as cause of an external event, which you were not responsible for or you blame other people and overlook ways that you contributed to a problem.