Beck's Six Types of Faulty Thinking
- ARBITRARY INFERENCE - Drawing conclusions about oneself or the world without sufficient and relevant information. Example: A man not hired by a potential employer perceives himself as "totally worthless" and believes he probably will never find employment of any sort.
- SELECTIVE ABSTRACTION - Drawing conclusion from very isolated details and events without considering the larger context or picture. Example: A student who receives a C on an exam becomes depressed and stops attending classes even though he has A's and B's in his other courses. The student measures his worth by failures, errors, and weaknesses rathter than by successes or strengths.
- OVERGENERALIZATION - Holding extreme beliefs on the basis of a single incident and applying it to a different or dissimilar and inappropriate situation. Example: A depressed woman who has relationship problems with her boss may believe she is a failure in all other types of relationships.
- MAGNIFICATION AND EXAGGERATION - The process of overestimating the significance of negative events. Example: A runner experiences shortness of breath and interprets it as a major health problem, possibly even an indication of imminent death.
- PERSONALIZATION - Relating external events to one another when no objective basis for such a connection is apparent. Example: A student who raises his hand in class and is not called on by the professor believes that the instructor dislikes or is biased against him.
- POLARIZED THINKING - An "all-or-nothing," "good or bad," and "either-or" approach to viewing the world. Example: At one extreme, a woman who perceives herself as "perfect" and immune from making mistakes; at the other extreme, a woman who believes she is totally incompetent.