The development and initial validation of The Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire

Gillanders, David; Bolderston, Helen; Bond, Frank W.; Dempster, Maria; Flaxman, Paul E.; Campbell, Lindsey; Kerr, Sian; Tansey, Louise; Noel, Penelope; Ferenbach, Clive; Masley, Samantha; Roach, Louise; Lloyd, Joda; May, Lauraine; Clarke, Susan and Remington, Bob. 2014. The development and initial validation of The Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire. Behavior Therapy, 45(1), pp. 83-101. ISSN 0005-7894 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

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. Whilst 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 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 1800 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.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Measurement, Questionnaires, Cognitive Fusion, Mindfulness

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute of Management Studies


January 2014Published
18 September 2013Published Online
7 September 2013Accepted

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

30 Sep 2013 07:17

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 13:14

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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