Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) emphasizes the relationship a person has with their thoughts and beliefs as potentially more relevant than belief content in predicting the emotional and behavioral consequences of cognition. In ACT, “defusion” interventions aim to “unhook” thoughts from actions and to create psychological distance between a person and their thoughts, beliefs, memories, and self-stories. A number of similar concepts have been described in the psychology literature (e.g., decentering, metacognition, mentalization, and mindfulness) suggesting converging evidence that how we relate to mental events may be of critical importance. While there are some good measures of these related processes, none of them provides an adequate operationalization of cognitive fusion. Despite the centrality of cognitive fusion in the ACT model, there is as yet no agreed-upon measure of cognitive fusion. This paper presents the construction and development of a brief, self-report measure of cognitive fusion: The Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire (CFQ). The results of a series of studies involving over 1,800 people across diverse samples show good preliminary evidence of the CFQ’s factor structure, reliability, temporal stability, validity, discriminant validity, and sensitivity to treatment effects. The potential uses of the CFQ in research and clinical practice are outlined.
- cognitive-behavior therapy
- acceptance and commitment therapy
- cognitive fusion