Seeing Things in Black-and-White: A Scoping Review on Dichotomous Thinking Style1

Bruno Bonfá-Araujo*, Atsushi Oshio, Nelson Hauck-Filho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Dichotomous thinking is a propensity for individuals to understand events as opposites, in a binary way. There are currently two inventories that accurately measure this construct, the Dichotomous Thinking Inventory, and the Dichotomous Thinking in Eating Disorders Scale. The present study aimed to carry out a review process to compile all the empirical studies that have made use of either of these instruments. To achieve this goal, we carried out a scoping review. We conducted a search using the keywords “Dichotomous Thinking Inventory,” “Dichotomous Thinking in Eating Disorders Scale,” and “Thinking Style” in the databases PubMed, Science Direct, and PsycInfo. No limits were imposed on the review. We found 19 articles that met the pre-established criteria; the concentration of research occurred in the last 10 years. It was possible to clarify that the dichotomous way of understanding events occurs, in general, in the presence of maladaptive traits of personality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-472
Number of pages12
JournalJapanese Psychological Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct


  • cognitive distortion
  • dichotomy
  • instruments
  • maladaptive traits
  • personality traits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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