Considerable evidence supports the utility of the concepts of cognitive fusion and defusion, across diverse areas of functioning and concern. Cognitive fusion includes taking thoughts literally, and thinking being likely to dominate behaviour. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) protocols include ‘defusion’ exercises, to support a distanced and more flexible relationship with thoughts. The Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire (CFQ), is a brief, psychometrically sound measure of the process. Although the CFQ has generated fusion-focussed research, it does not tend to be used in experimental settings. Instead, fusion-focussed experiments tend to use psycho- metrically untested measures of thought believability as a proxy for fusion. This paper reports on the initial validation of a state version of the CFQ, the State Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire (SCFQ). Three separate, predominantly student-based convenience samples, with a combined n of 379 provided preliminary evidence that the SCFQ has a theoretically consistent factor structure, shows excellent internal reliability, is stable over time, and is a valid measure of fusion. The findings also demonstrate that the SCFQ is more sensitive than the CFQ to changes in fusion, following a brief defusion exercise, making it more suitable for lab based studies.
- cognitive fusion
- state measurement
- experimental methods
- acceptance and commitment therapy