Cognitive distortions associated with generalized anxiety disorder

Main Article Content

Nora Arredondo Londoño
Cristina Álvarez Vargas
Piedad López Bustamante
Sara Posada Gómez


Objective: To identify the cognitive distortions associated with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in working adults in the city of Medellín (Colombia). Method: Analytical cross-sectional studies. Sample: n = 147: 36 cases (with GAD indicators) and 111 controls (without GAD indicators). Instrument: GAD-Q IV Diagnostic Instrument: Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire (Newman, 2002), IPA Automatic Thoughts Inventory (Ruiz & Luján, 1991). Results: There were significant differences in all the cognitive distortions evaluated, except in polarized thinking and personalization. The discriminant function showed a function for the group With GAD, with a weight greater than 0.350 with the following order: You should, Justice Fallacy, Be right, Catastrophic vision, control fallacy, change fallacy, selective abstraction. Conclusions: The cognitive style in terms of information processing of people with GAD is characterized by their cognitive rigidity in the face of social expectations and the need for control and prediction of events: Must be, fair, be right and the catastrophic vision of danger.

Generalized anxiety disorder Cognitive Profile Distortions Cognitive


American Psychiatric Association (2000). Manual Diagnóstico y Estadístico de los Trastornos Mentales (4ª ed.) Texto Revisado. DSM IV TR. Barcelona: Ed. Masson S.A.

Beck, A. & Emery, G. (1985). Desórdenes de Ansiedad y Fobias: Una Perspectiva Cognitiva. New York: Basic Books.

Caballo, V. (2002). Manual para el tratamiento cognitivo-conductual de los trastornos psicológicos. Madrid: Siglo veintiuno.

Clark, D.A. & Beck A. (1997). El estado de la cuestión en la teoría y la terapia cognitiva. En Manual de psicoterapias cognitivas. Compiladora Isabel Caro. Barcelona: Paidós.

Freidman, B., Thayer, J. & Borkovec, T. (2000). Explicit Memory Bias for Threat Words in Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Behavior Therapy. 31.

Lazarus, R. & Lazarus, B. (1994). Pasión y Razón en Nuestras Emociones. Barcelona: Paidós.

Mogg, K. Mathews, A. Eysenck, M. & May, J. (1991). Biased Cognitive Operations in Anxiety: Artefact, Processing Priorities or Attentional Search? Behaviour Research and Therapy, 29.

Newman, M. (2002). GAD-Q IV. Behavior Therapy, 33, 215-233.

Ruiz y Lujan (1991). Manual de Psicoterapia Cognitiva. Inventario de pensamientos automáticos. Extraído el 5 de Diciembre de 2005 desde http://www.psicologia

Wells, A. & Carter, K. (1999). Preliminary Tests of a Cognitive Model of GAD. Behaviour Research and Therapy, in press.

Wells, A. & Carter, K. (2001). Further Tests of a Cognitive Model of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Metacognitions and Worry in GAD, Panic Disorder, Social Phobia, Depression and Nonpatients. Behavior Therapy, 32.

Article Details