Psychology tutorial 1: Identifying and correcting cognitive distortions Introduction
Cognition is a word used to describe our thinking, for example cognitions consist of thoughts, ideas, expectations, beliefs and attitudes (Wright & McCray 2012). Cognitive distortions are habitual ways of interpreting information, situations and people that alter reality, so that an unnecessary negative view of one’s self, circumstances or future is generated (Wilkes, 1994).The main reason to resolve cognitive distortions, is that it results in unnecessary emotional discomfort and negative feelings are exerted such as feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, guilt, rejection and helplessness (Burns, 1989). This essay will be discussing a particular event which occurred and the feelings and thoughts related to the event. In addition to that, the thoughts will be examined for accuracy; rationality and functionality. The Situation
One particular situation that comes to mind, was when I was in my law lecture, and the lecturer asked me a question, my heart was racing and all I could do was keep quiet because I did not want to sound stupid, or be perceived to be dumb if my answer was incorrect as I did not want to be judged by my classmates. The whole time the lecturer was looking at me, in anticipation of the answer, I went blank, even though I was paying attention during the lecture. I felt embarrassed as I did not know what everyone would think of me, so at that moment in time, all I could do was smile at the lecturer, and the lecturer looked at me and moved on. Feelings
The feelings I felt during that moment in time when the lecturer asked me the question were fear, embarrassment and anxiety. I was fearful of what people may think of me, if my answer was incorrect. I was embarrassed, as I was asked the question and all I could do was not respond due to the fear I felt of others judging me. I was anxious as I did not know what to do and the fear of being perceived as stupid or dumb consumed me. In my view the most predominant feeling I felt during that moment in time was of anxiety, as I was fearful of the situation I was in and my mind went completely blank.
1. “I don’t know what to say, everyone might think I’m stupid.”---- Anxiety 2. “What if my answer’s incorrect and the lecturer tells me to stand up and go outside.”----- Fear 3. “I cannot even answer the question, why am I so dumb.” ----Embarrassment Examine the thoughts in terms of accuracy, rationality and functionality 1. “I don’t know what to say, everyone might think I’m stupid.” ---- Anxiety Accuracy
In terms of accuracy, will people really think I’m stupid? I have not given anyone a reason to think I’m stupid so they should not think that. Anyone else could have been in the same situation, and therefore they may understand why I did not respond or how I reacted. Maybe people may think I’m shy or reserved, instead of stupid or dumb. Rationality
In terms of rationality, is it correct to overgeneralize, by saying “everyone might think I’m stupid?” How can I perceive other’s reaction without truly knowing what their reaction is? Functionality
Lastly, in terms of functionality, this is an automatic negative thought, and does not help me, as it may be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as by thinking about “what not to say”, I may become more anxious, and in turn would likely not know what to say. Rational Response
“I have been paying attention to the lecturer, and do understand what he is talking about and therefore I am able to answer the question without sounding stupid or dumb, so just breath, relax and take it easy, you can do this.” 2. What if my answer’s incorrect and the lecturer tells me to stand up and go outside.”----- Fear
In terms of accuracy, how can I be sure that my answer is incorrect without answering the question, and being evaluated on its correctness? Has the lecturer ever told someone to stand up and go...
...Distortion Within Pride and Prejudice
In Classical Literature, there are few works which can boast having a huge societal impact upon their publication, yet still cause a modern reader to sit at the edge of their seat turning the page in anticipation of what happens next. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is one of these evident pieces. In Pride and Prejudice, the life as a middle-class English woman in the 19th Century was portrayed so astutely that the world around her was forever altered. The novel is also not only readable, but stimulating, with each page alluring the reader to find out what happens next to the unforgettable characters. But how is Austen able to accomplish this? What is the quality that makes her work stand out from the rest? It is evident through textual analysis that Jane Austen uses distortion as a device to aid not only in her plot development, but also in order to express her views on societal issues within Pride and Prejudice. This distortion is most prominently seen in the amplified characters, exaggerated circumstances, and the misrepresented interactions.
Although distortion is seen throughout the novel, it first becomes most apparent with the introduction of Mr. Collins. Austen has exaggerated his personality, distorting his character into a source of comic relief and humor. This has a profound impact on the novel as it creates the first tension between...
...Cognitive Theory Paper
University of North Texas at Dallas
COUN 5710- Counseling Theories
November 12, 2012
Dr. Jennifer Baggerly
"The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind." William James (Whitbourne, 2011)
When we hear the wordcognitive, several words come to mind such as, reasoning, thinking or learning. It sends implications of a person’s conscious intellectual ability that contribute to the academic, social and occupational success of that individual. It even correlates directly with a person’s logic and reasoning skills and how they are capable of prioritizing, and plan. (Gibson, 2007) The major contributor to the cognitive theory is Aaron Beck and can be it can be best characterized as an adaptive theory. It was highly popularized in the 1960s when he published a psychological model proposing that thoughts played a significant role in the development and maintenance of depression. (Guindon, 2011) Beck’s cognitive triad is identified as a pattern of reportable depressive thoughts that consist of; Negative view of self (perceived as deficient, inadequate, or unworthy); Negative view of the world (interactions with the environment are perceives representing defeat or...
...In Brave New World, Huxley exaggerates the fact that a world that strives for stability must eliminate individualism and relationships.
One major distortion in Brave New World is the prevention of individualism. In order to live in a Utopia, a person cannot be an individual. Huxley makes this clear from the first page of the novel, revealing the World State’s motto of “Community, Identity, Stability.” Conformity is what this society strives for. Individuals cannot make up a community, which is why these people are made identical in many ways. From the beginning, the identical fetuses are bred solely to serve the community. They lack personal identity in order to sustain the stability of their society. Huxley uses this distortion to allude to the lack of uniqueness in our society and our willingness to conform.
The level of control the World Leaders have on their citizens is also distorted. Huxley satirizes the idea that it is easier to control people by occupying them with detail and distracting them from major issues. The people are distracted by simple things, such as Electro-magnetic golf or the feelies. Huxley uses these in comparison to our countless and unnecessary distractions like sports and entertainment. Another example of a distraction is death conditioning. The citizens are taught to accept death as a natural process. This process of death conditioning, however, is used to distract them from true emotions like sadness. This is not...
...Implications of Memory Distortion
As an eyewitness to a crime, there is a lot of pressure to remember the events that have taken place accurately. According to the article "How to Improve Your Memory" on helpguide.org, Exercise and sleep help people remember things. The person needs to exercise and get enough sleep before they go and identify the accused criminal. To remember specific details the witness needs to write the information out and try and visualize what they seen. Sometimes drawing the persons face will help them keep the face fresh in their minds, this would need to be done before looking at mug shots or a line-up because that is where the false memories will be created.
If I were a part of a jury, I would not trust the eyewitness testimony. There are many factors I would need to look at in order to come to a conclusion. I would ask myself, has the witness ever saw the accused person before? They are more likely to be able to identify someone if they had met or seen the person before. According to the video on cbsnews.com, "The Bunny Effect", false memories were proven to be a definite possibility. Memory can be altered via suggestion. People can be led to remember their past in different ways, and they even can be led to remember entire events that never actually happened to them. When these sorts of distortions occur, people are sometimes confident in their distorted or false memories, and often go on to describe the...
...is to inform the reader of the theory of Cognitive Therapy for Depression. In doing so, I will discuss the evidence that supports the use of cognitive therapy for depression, the advantages and the disadvantages. The usage of cognitive therapy with children for depression and ending with the assumptions associated with the theory.
Cognitive Therapy for Depression
Cognitive Therapy (CT) is a form of psychotherapy that was developed by the famed psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck. This style of therapy is one that seeks to change the unrealistic views and way of thinking of the client. Psychologists using a cognitive therapy approach recognize that psychological problems such as depression can develop from a variety of life experiences. It’s here that Beck uncovered that cognitive therapy was an effective and perhaps the most effective intervention for treating depression (Wikipedia, 2007). The primary goal of CT is to provide relief by helping patients to become aware of and challenge their negative thoughts and imagery. It is the therapist’s role to use this design as it was intended with accuracy; this is the key to this form of treatment working as applied.
Cognitive therapy aims to help the client to become aware of thought distortions, which are causing psychological distress, and of behavioral patterns that...
Cognitive Therapy & CBT
Home » Therapy » Types of Counselling and Psychotherapy »
An Introduction to Cognitive Therapy & Cognitive Behavioural Approaches
By Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor
Cognitive therapy (or cognitive behavioural therapy) helps the client to uncover and alter distortions of thought or perceptions which may be causing or prolonging psychological distress.
Underlying Theory of Cognitive Therapy
The central insight of cognitive therapy as originally formulated over three decades ago is that thoughts mediate between stimuli, such as external events, and emotions. As in the figure below, a stimulus elicits a thought — which might be an evaluative judgement of some kind — which in turn gives rise to an emotion. In other words, it is not the stimulus itself which somehow elicits an emotional response directly, but our evaluation of or thought about that stimulus. (Some practitioners use Ellis’s ABC model, described on our page about rational emotive behaviour therapy, to describe the role of thoughts or attitudes mediating between events and our emotional responses.) Two ancillary assumptions underpin the approach of the cognitive therapist: 1) the client is capable of becoming aware of his or her own thoughts and of changing them, and 2) sometimes the thoughts elicited by stimuli distort or otherwise fail to...
...Cognitive Psychology Definition
The definition of cognitive psychology is the study of mental processes such as perception, attention, memory, language, thinking, and problem-solving (Ruisel, 2010). Cognitive psychology is currently one of the most important schools of psychology. Cognitive psychology is interested in how humans receive information, process information, and use information.
Numerous milestones exist incognitive psychology. One important milestone is the development of cognitive psychology in the 1950s. Before the birth of cognitive psychology, behaviorism existed as the main school of thought in psychology. When behaviorism started to fall apart cognitive psychology was born. Behaviorism fell apart because it focused on how the environment was important to explaining behavior. Cognitive psychology placed importance on how genetics also affects behavior. Behaviorists such as B.F Skinner attempted to explain how humans attain language, but failed. Cognitive psychology became popular when linguist, Noam Chomsky explained how humans attain language.
Noam Chomsky was important to psychology because he disagreed with B.F Skinner’s explanations and believed behaviorist cannot explain how language is attained. Chomsky became popular when he proved that a connection existed between language and math...
...* Cognitive Theory Outline
I. Theory: Cognitive Theory (CT)
a. Key Concepts:
i. The way a person’s mind collects and categorizes information is built into schemas. Those schemas help build associations with future thoughts, emotions and behaviors, as they determine how we categorize an experience. Schemas influence our recall of an experience (good or bad), our emotion (positive or negative), and our behavior (acceptance or avoidance), and how we relate it mentally to similar new situations that we encounter. If the schemas that are built within are faulty, they can cause a domino effect of inappropriate thoughts, emotions and behaviors until the faulty view is challenged and the old schema is replaced with a new one.
ii. The most primitive schema houses our automatic thoughts.
iii. Automatic thought can be visual or verbal. Other characteristics of the three types of automatic thought show that it; (1)is distorted, yet occurs although no evidence exists to support the distorted thought (ex. Telling yourself you are the worst person in the world and believing it); (2) is a correct automatic thought, but the conclusion the patient draws isn’t (ex: I failed the test, so that means I’m stupid); or (3) is an accurate thought, but still dysfunctional (It will take me all night to finish his project! The behaviors associated with this thought becoming overwhelming and cause anxiety, which lessens the...