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Irrational Beliefs

  1. K. Robert Bridges,
  2. Richard J. Harnish

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0469

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Bridges, K. R. and Harnish, R. J. 2010. Irrational Beliefs. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Pennsylvania State University at New Kensington

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Irrational beliefs are rigid, inaccurate, or illogical beliefs that are used to interpret external events. They are self-defeating, unconditional, inconsistent with reality, and unlikely to find empirical support. Conversely, rational beliefs are logical, flexible, and consistent with reality. If a person holds irrational beliefs, negative life events—inevitable in everyone's life—will result in inappropriate negative emotions and dysfunctional behaviors. Irrational beliefs also play a role as predisposing or causal factors in a number of behavior disorders.


  • irrational beliefs;
  • Albert Ellis;
  • Aaron Beck;
  • rational emotive therapy/rational emotive-behavioral therapy;
  • cognitive therapy/cognitive behavioral therapy