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01-12-2013 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2013

Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy 4/2013

Personality Traits Predict Irrational Beliefs

Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy > Uitgave 4/2013
Stephanie M. Samar, Kate E. Walton, Wilson McDermut


Irrational beliefs are the focus of many psychological theories, since research has shown that holding irrational beliefs often leads to unhealthy emotions, dysfunctional behaviors, and psychological disturbances. The aim of such therapies as rational emotive behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy is to dispute irrational beliefs to promote more rational ways of thinking; however they do not take into account individual personality differences. The aim of this study was to determine whether personality traits predict rational and irrational beliefs in a mixed student and clinical sample. It was hypothesized that the domains of the five factor model of personality would predict rational beliefs as well as a range of irrational beliefs. Our findings supported the hypothesis, showing distinct associations between personality traits and each specific irrational belief. Neuroticism predicted rational beliefs as well as six out of the seven types of irrational beliefs measured. Additionally, extraversion predicted rationality and self-downing, openness predicted need for comfort and total irrationality, and conscientiousness predicted need for achievement and demand for fairness. Agreeableness did not predict any type of rational or irrational beliefs. Knowledge of these distinct relationships may increase a clinician’s ability to conceptualize a therapy case and determine the best approach to treatment.

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