We all often make errors in our thinking, especially when we are deeply convinced of the truth of what we believe. These thinking errors lead to the fact that it becomes particularly difficult to change our minds or to accept any alternative view.

Our way of thinking is closely linked to our emotions and behavior. It is very useful to know when we make thinking errors in order to be able to assess the situation from the outside.

Here are 5 major thinking errors that we usually make.

1. Overgeneralization

Getting only a specific output of a particular event is a common error of judgment. Proof of a particular part of a case does not make this case completely truthful. You can lose a single battle but win the war.

For example, your favorite football team can lose several games of the season but still be the champion of the country. In reality, individual events are rarely particularly important. It makes no sense to judge yourself or others because of one mistake.

2. Guessing

If you are not a psychic, you probably cannot see the future. Usually, when people try to imagine what the future will be like, they obtain a negative view. When you convince yourself that nothing good will happen to you in the future, you will automatically cease to put any effort into what you are doing. After all, if it’s going to suck anyway, why bother doing anything?

Try to do something without trying to predict the outcome. If something happened in the past, it does not mean that it will definitely happen again.

3. Mind reading

We think we know what people around us think, but in most cases, we are wrong. For example, assuming that someone yawns when talking to you because they are bored, you are ignoring the possibility that people simply do not get enough sleep.

We often project our thoughts and feelings to other people, ignoring the real version of events. There is always a probability that we are wrong in our judgments, and there is an alternative explanation.

4. Exaggeration

This happens when you take a fairly insignificant event and exaggerate its effect several times. For example, speaking in public, you can imagine how the students start laughing at you when you forget the words. Losing a job, you can begin to think that life is terribly unfair, and you will remain poor until the end of your days.

The truth is that this is just a thought of the worst possible scenarios. Most likely, the audience will not notice that you forgot the words, and within a month, you will find a job that will be better than the old one.

Try to imagine the events in a less catastrophic view because often, they are nothing but your perspective.

5. “All or Nothing”

Most people love reading newspapers that write about celebrities, athletes, and politicians either as if they were heroes or vice versa. Journalists write these narratives, exploiting people’s love for drama and gossip. However, we all know that in reality, this information may not be as truthful and absolute as they make it seem.

The same is true for any of us. If you do not bathe in the glow of success, it does not mean you are a loser. If you were late at an important meeting, it will not destroy your career forever.

In fact, there are many variations of successes and failures. Think of them as shades of gray rather than as black and white. Try to think of happenings in a less trivial way, and perhaps you will discover a new vision of this world.

Most people are completely unaware of these thinking errors. So the next time you find yourself jumping to a too obvious or absolute conclusion, ask yourself if it’s indeed true or you have simply fallen into one of these thinking traps.

Anna LeMind, B.A.

Copyright © 2012-2020 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

the power of misfits

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    bakeca Ragusa

    nice post,,,,,good to know

  2. Avatar
    bill

    A lot of the descriptions is overgeneralized.

Leave a Reply