Five Most Common Thinking Errors

thinking errorsWe all often make errors in our thinking, especially when we are deeply convinced of the truth of what we believe. These errors lead to the fact that it becomes especially difficult to change our minds or to accept any alternative view.
Our way of thinking is closely linked with 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, the 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 the future, they obtain a negative view. When you convince yourself that nothing good will happen to you in the future, you will stop trying to carry out the necessary works. 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 he is 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 they often are nothing but your vision.

5. “All or Nothing”

Most people love reading newspapers that write about celebrities, athletes and politicians either as heroes or vice versa. Journalists write these narratives to generate interest and increase circulation. However, we all know that in reality this information may not be truthful.

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 happening things in a less trivial way, and perhaps you will discover a new vision of this world.

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Anna LeMind

Anna is the founder and lead editor of the website She is passionate about learning new things and reflecting on thought-provoking ideas. She writes about science, psychology and other related topics. She is particularly interested in topics regarding introversion, consciousness and subconscious, perception, human mind's potential, as well as the nature of reality and the universe.

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  1. bakeca Ragusa June 17, 2013 at 10:33 am - Reply

    nice post,,,,,good to know

  2. bill June 22, 2013 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    A lot of the descriptions is overgeneralized.

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Five Most Common Thinking Errors