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Cognitive Content Specificity Hypothesis

The cognitive content specificity hypothesis (CCSH), described by Aaron T. Beck in 1976, is a core component of the cognitive theory of emotional disorders. Beck proposed that emotional disorders and states could be defined by their cognitive content. For example, loss and negative views of self, world, and future were believed to characterize depression, whereas threat and danger cognitions characterized anxiety.

In a 2015 review, John Baranoff and Tian Oei suggested that the CCSH could be defined in a number of ways when testing the model. For example, a high threshold for uniqueness would require that cognitive content is unique to a given emotional disorder or state. In contrast, a low threshold for cognitive content specificity requires only a greater association between the particular cognitive content ...

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