This study investigated the global and specific cognitive style associated with bulimia nervosa. Three groups of women (women with bulimia nervosa. women with major depression, and controls) completed measures of eating disorder severity, depression, dysfunctional cognitions and irrational beliefs. The control group was found to report significantly lower levels of cognitive distortions and irrational beliefs overall than both women with bulimia nervosa and women with depression. However, no difference was found between the latter two groups. Furthermore, the pattern of individual cognitions and beliefs was exactly the same. When depression was statistically controlled, cognitive style no longer differentiated between the control group and two clinical groups. These results have implications for improving the effectiveness of cognitive behaviour therapy for bulimia nervosa.