The Constructive Thinking Inventory: Factorial Structure in Healthy Individuals and Patients with Chronic Skin Diseases

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Epstein's “Constructive Thinking Inventory” (CTI) was developed to measure the construct of experiential intelligence, which is based on his cognitive-experiential self-theory. Inventory items were generated by sampling naturally occurring automatic cognitions. Using principal component analysis, the findings showed a global factor of coping ability as well as six main factors: Emotional Coping, Behavioral Coping, Categorical Thinking, Personal Superstitious Thinking, Esoteric Thinking, and Naive Optimism. We tested the replicability of this factor structure and the amount of statistical independence (nonredundancy) between these factors in an initial study of German students (Study 1, N= 439) and in a second study of patients with chronic skin disorders (Study 2, N= 187). Factor congruence with the original (American) data was determined using a formula proposed by Schneewind and Cattell (1970). Our findings show satisfactory factor congruence and statistical independence for Emotional Coping and Esoteric Thinking in both studies, while full replicability or independence could not be found in both for the other factors. Implications for the use and further development of the CTI are discussed.

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