The Warpy Thoughts Quiz/ Scale

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 Kathy Griffiths

The Warpy Thoughts Quiz/Scale measures dysfunctional attitudes. There is both a 20-item short form called the Warpy Thoughts Scale and the original 42-item long form which is called the Warpy Thoughts Quiz. All items are scored on a five-point scale. Items are scored 1 (strongly agree), 2 (agree), 3 (neither agree nor disagree), 4 (disagree) and (5) strongly disagree, and summed.

The Warpy Thoughts Quiz consists of seven sections: Approval, Love, Influence, Success, Perfection, External and Rights. Each section indicates an area of vulnerability. Respectively, these are: the need for approval from others, the need to be loved, the need to succeed, the sense of being able to influence/ be responsible for other peoples' emotional reactions, the need to be perfect, happiness is contingent upon external things and the sense of feeling deserving.

Warpy Thoughts Quiz Items

Approval

  • If people criticise me, I am not a worthwhile person
  • Other people's approval is very important to me
  • I can make everyone like me if I just try hard enough
  • The most important thing in the world to me is to be accepted by other people
  • I find it impossible to go against other people's wishes
  • Unless I get consistent praise I feel that I am not worthwhile

Love

  • Life is unbearable unless I am loved by my family
  • If I am not loved it is because I am unlovable
  • If I love somebody who doesn't love me, I must be inadequate
  • I need to be constantly told I'm loved to feel secure
  • If I were a better person then somebody would love me
  • In order to be happy, I need someone to really love me

Success

  • I can't feel equal to others unless I'm really good at something
  • I only feel valued if I achieve my goals
  • My success in life defines my goals
  • I need to be successful in all areas that are important to me
  • Life is pointless if I don't have goals to chase
  • Without success in life, it is impossible to be happy

Perfection

  • I see no point in doing anything unless it can be done perfectly
  • There are no second prizes in life
  • Things must be done to certain standards, otherwise there is no point in doing them
  • If I make mistakes then others will think less of me
  • If I don't do something perfectly then I don't like myself very much
  • I never seem to be able to reach my own high standards

Influence

  • I can prevent people being upset by thinking about what they might need
  • If I have a fight with my friends, it must be my fault
  • I should be able to please everybody
  • I am responsible for other people's happiness
  • If people are uncomfortable around me it is my fault
  • If the people around me are upset, I usually worry that I have upset them

External

  • I can only be happy if I have the good things in life
  • Unless I have expensive possessions, people won't approve of me
  • If I were rewarded for the goals I achieve, I know I could be happy
  • If my friends are unhappy, then I cannot be happy
  • Everything has to be going well in order for me to be happy
  • My happiness depends on others

Rights

  • If obstacles are placed in my path, it is natural that I would get angry
  • Things should always go right for me
  • If I do the right things, people should acknowledge it
  • If I feel that I deserve something, I should get it
  • If I go out of my way to help others, they should do the same for me when I need it
  • I shouldn't have to work hard to get the things I want

The below table provides the descriptive statistics and Cronbach alphas on the Warpy Thoughts Quiz for people aged from 20 to 32 years.

Mean scores, Standard deviations, and Cronbach alphas for the Warpy Thoughts Quiz

Vulnerability

Mean score

Standard deviation

Cronbach Alpha

Aproval

20.17

5.52

.79

Love

21.76

5.07

.78

Success

17.38

5.54

.84

Perfect

19.03

5.44

.80

Responsibility

20.87

5.04

.81

External

21.43

5.00

.80

Deserving

18.90

4.83

.77

Note: n=153.

The above scores were collected using a survey distributed to individuals who had previously enrolled in a survey of mental health literacy. In the original study, a postal survey of 3,109 Australian adults in the electorate of Farrer (includes Albury and surrounding rural area) assessed beliefs about the helpfulness of a broad range of interventions for depression. The 153 individuals who provided the above data were derived from a sub-sample of 2000 individuals from the original study who had agreed to participate in future research and were aged 32 years or under. This sample had a mean age of 27.10 years and elevated Goldberg depression and anxiety scores relative to the general population.

Key references: 

Christensen, H., Griffiths, K., Groves, C. MoodGYM Training Program: Clinician's Manual. Centre for Mental Health Research: Canberra, 2004.

Jorm, A.F., Medway, J., Christensen, H., Korten, A., Jacomb, P.A., & Rodgers, B. Attitudes towards people with depression: effects of the public's help seeking and outcome when experiencing common psychiatric symptoms. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 2000; 34: 612-618.

Parslow, R.A., Christensen, H., Griffiths, K.M., & Groves, C. The warpy thoughts scale: a new 20-item instrument to measure dysfunctional attitudes. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 2006; 35(2): 106-116.

The Warpy Thoughts Scale is made up of three first-order factors: Relationships, Achievements and Entitlements; and one higher order factor: Warpy Thoughts.

Warpy Thoughts Scale Items

Relationships

  • If people criticise me, I am not a worthwhile person.
  • Other people’s approval is very important to me.
  • I can make everyone like me if I just try hard enough.
  • I find it impossible to go against other people’s wishes.
  • Unless I get constant praise I feel that I am not worthwhile.
  • Life is unbearable unless I am loved by my family.
  • If I love somebody who doesn’t love me, I must be inadequate.
  • I can prevent people being upset by thinking about what they might need.
  • If I have a fight with my friends, it must be my fault.
  • If the people around me are upset, I usually worry that I have upset them.

Achievements

  • I can’t feel equal to others unless I’m really good at something.
  • My success in life defines my goals.
  • I need to be successful in all areas that are important to me.
  • Without success in life, it is impossible to be happy.
  • Things must be done to certain standards, otherwise there is no point in doing them.

Entitlements

  • I can only be happy if I have the good things in life.
  • Unless I have expensive possessions, people won’t approve of me.
  • If I were rewarded for the goals I achieve, know I could be happy.
  • Things should always go right for me.
  • If I go out of my way to help others, they should do the same for me when I need it.

Convergent validity

Warpy Thoughts Scale correlation with the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire: r = 0.51, p < 0.001 (n= 120)

Norms

The following table contains means and 95% confidence intervals for the Warpy Thoughts Scale obtained from a sample of 4545 users of the free on-line cognitive behavioural therapy program, MoodGYM. Scoring was reversed for each item so that higher scores reflect more agreement with the dysfunctional attitudes.

 

All (n=4545)

Men (n=1362)

Women (n=3183)

Aged <30 (n=1402)

Aged 30-44 (n=1552)

Aged 44> (n=1591)

Relationships

20.44 (20.22–20.66)

19.22

(18.82–19.61) 

20.96

(20.70–21.23)

22.86

(22.47–23.24)

20.58

(20.20–20.96)

18.18

(17.82–18.54)

Achievement

12.12

(12.01–12.24)

12.18

(11.96–12.40)

12.10

(11.96–12.24)

13.31

(13.11–13.51)

12.30

(12.11–12.50)

10.91

(10.71–11.10)

Entitlements

8.43

(8.32–8.54)

8.92

(8.72–9.13)

8.21

(8.08–8.34)

9.77

(9.57–9.97)

8.50

(8.32–8.68)

7.17

(7.00–7.34)

Total

40.99

(40.61–41.38)

40.32

(39.61–41.03)

41.28

(40.82–41.74)

45.93

(45.28–46.59)

41.38

(40.75–42.02)

36.26

(35.63–36.88)

Key references: 

Christensen, H., Griffiths, K., Groves, C. MoodGYM Training Program: Clinician's Manual. Centre for Mental Health Research: Canberra, 2004.

Jorm, A.F., Medway, J., Christensen, H., Korten, A., Jacomb, P.A., & Rodgers, B. Attitudes towards people with depression: effects of the public's help seeking and outcome when experiencing common psychiatric symptoms. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 2000; 34: 612-618.

Parslow, R.A., Christensen, H., Griffiths, K.M., & Groves, C. The warpy thoughts scale: a new 20-item instrument to measure dysfunctional attitudes. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 2006; 35(2): 106-116.

Updated:  19 October 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, CMHR/Page Contact:  Web Admin, CMHR