Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Depressive Schemata

  • Patrick PösselEmail author
  • Caroline M. Pittard
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_974-1



Schemata are temporarily stable and form the cognitive structure that organizes and helps to interpret information. If the schemata evidence a negative bias, impact information processing in a way that the content of interpretations and thoughts is immature, absolute, and rigid and perpetuate negative thoughts about the self in relation to the world, they are called depressive or dysfunctional (Beck 1976).


In Aaron T. Beck’s cognitive model (1976), schemata, cognitive errors, cognitive triad, and automatic thoughts are central to the development and maintenance of depression. Schemata are relatively enduring, organizing structures that guide situational information processing. Dysfunctional schemata are negative in content and consist of immature, absolute, and rigid attitudes about the self and its relation to the world.

How Dysfunctional Schemata Lead to Depression

When activated by stress, dysfunctional...


Cognitive Therapy Cognitive Structure Automatic Thought Cognitive Error Schema Lead 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Charlie Reeve
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North Carolina-CharlotteCharlotteUSA