What Are The Ten Cognitive Distortions? | Assertiveness Basics

Psychologist Aaron T. Beck pioneered research in the field of Cognitive Distortions in the 1960s. He made them a central subject in his cognitive-behavioral approach to psychotherapy. Later, in 1980, David D. Burns popularized the concepts and made them more accessible to larger groups of people in his book “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy.

As presented by Beck and Burns, the ten cognitive distortions are:

  1. Dichotomous Thinking
  2. Overgeneralization
  3. The Mental Filter
  4. Disqualifying the Positive
  5. Jumping to Conclusions
  6. Magnification/Minimization
  7. Emotional Reasoning
  8. Should Statements
  9. Labeling
  10. Personalization/Blaming

Click on the separate labels to read more about each cognitive distortion.