Publication 495

Feixas G., Saúl L. A. & Ávila A. (2012) Viewing cognitive conflicts as dilemmas: Implications for mental health. Journal of Constructivist Psychology 22: 141–169. Fulltext at
The idea that internal conflicts play a significant role in mental health has been extensively addressed in various psychological traditions. In the context of personal construct theory, several measures of conflict have been operationalized using the repertory grid technique. All of them capture the notion that change, although desirable from the viewpoint of a given set of constructs, becomes undesirable from the perspective of other constructs. The goal of this study is to explore the presence of cognitive conflicts in a clinical sample (n = 284) and compare it to a control sample (n = 322). It is also meant to clarify which among the different types of conflict studied provides a greater clinical value and to investigate its relationship to symptom severity (SCL-90-R). Of the types of cognitive conflict studied, implicative dilemmas were the only ones to discriminate between clinical and nonclinical samples. Participants with implicative dilemmas showed higher symptom severity, and those from the clinical sample displayed a higher frequency of dilemmas than those from the nonclinical sample.


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