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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1989 Aug;57(2):332-50.

Constructive thinking: a broad coping variable with specific components.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003.


The structure of constructive thinking and the development of an instrument for measuring it, the Constructive Thinking Inventory (CTI), were discussed. Scales were derived from a factor analysis of an item domain of people's everyday automatic thinking. When the CTI and other tests were factor analyzed, separate intellective and nonintellective factors were found, with the CTI loading more strongly on the nonintellective factor than any other test. Only measures of IQ loaded on the intellective factor. The global constructive thinking scale correlated significantly with success in work, love, social relationships, and in maintaining emotional and physical well-being, but not with academic achievement, the only criterion with which the measures of IQ correlated strongly. The patterns of correlations between the CTI scales and the various criteria as well as the factor analysis demonstrated that the construct of constructive thinking is differentiated as well as integrated.

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