Irrational Beliefs, Optimism, Pessimism, and Psychological Distress: A Preliminary Examination of Differential Effects in a College Population


The present study compared the effects of irrational beliefs measured by the Survey of Personal Beliefs (SPB) and optimism and pessimism as measured by the revised Life Orientation Test (LOT-R) on depressive and anxious symptoms 6 weeks later. Results of analysis of variances for both measures of psychological distress indicated a significant main effect for pessimism only. Implications for Ellis’ Rational Emotive Therapy are discussed.

Journal of Clinical Psychology