made by Aaron T Beck

published in 1961


21-item, self-report rating inventory measures characteristic attitudes and symptoms of depression mood, pessimism, sense of failure, self-dissatisfaction, guilt, punishment, self-dislike, self-accusation, suicidal ideas, crying, irritability, social withdrawal, indecisiveness, body image change, work difficulty, insomnia, fatigability, loss of appetite, weight loss, somatic preoccupation, and loss of libido.

one of the most widely used psychometric tests


BDI - original version 1961; four responses; last week

BDI - IA 1970s revision - for ease, a and b statements were removed, last two weeks

BDI II - 1996 revision, dev in response to DSM IV, past two weeks validated against Hamilton Depression Rating, positive correlation has high one week retest reliability and internal consistency


To detect and assess symptoms of depression in general population


To administer Beck’s Depression Inventory and assess symptoms of examinee


Seat the subject comfortably Ask them to follow the instructions given on the questionnaire


Inventory Scoring Key Writing material


21+ = depressed

0-9not depressed
10-16mildly depressed
17-29moderately depressed
30-63severely depressed


”This questionnaire has a questions which have multiple statements. Read each statement correctly and select the one that describes you best and circle the number next to it. Be sure to read all the statements in each group before selecting an option”


  • make sure instructions are clear
  • make sure subject reads all options

Application Value

  • used to measure depression in general population
  • used in clincal setup

flowchart TB
A(1958 - FIRO B)-->B
B(1961 -Beck's Depression Inventory / BDI)
C(1970s - BDI IA )
D(1996 - BDI II)