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7 Mistakes of Thinking That Distort Our Reality!

by Jones Cain 4 months ago in advice
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Is your mind doing that?

7 Mistakes of Thinking That Distort Our Reality!
Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

Here are 7 mistakes of thinking that distort our reality!

Cognitive distortions - are systematic errors of human thinking, a kind of logical pitfall. In some situations, we tend to act irrationally, even if we think that what we do is rational.

Here are the most common thinking pitfalls that do not allow us to be objective:

1. The illusion of control

People tend to overestimate their influence on events that they are interested in successfully following. This phenomenon was discovered in 1975 by the American psychologist Ellen Langer following experiments with lottery tickets.

The participants in the experiment were divided into two groups: the people in the first group could choose their lottery tickets, the people in the other group - no. Two days before the draw, the psychologists suggested to the participants of both groups to exchange their lottery tickets for others, in a new lottery with higher chances of winning.

The offer was a good one, but the participants of the first group, who chose their tickets themselves, were in no hurry to part with them - as if their personal choice had somehow affected the probability of winning.

2. Zero risk preference

Imagine being able to choose: either reduce a low risk to zero or significantly reduce a high risk. For example, reducing the risk of plane crashes or reducing the number of car crashes. What would you choose?

According to statistics, it is better to choose the second option: the mortality rate due to plane crashes is lower than the mortality rate due to car accidents.

Choosing the second option will save more lives. However, studies show that most people choose the first option: the risk of zero is more reassuring, even if the chances of falling victim to a plane crash are minimal.

3. The player's mistake

Many players try to find a relationship between the probability of the desired outcome of a random event and its previous results. For example, if you toss a coin and your "head" falls out nine times in a row, most people will put it on the "straw" after that, as if the "head" has fallen too many times increases the likelihood that it will already fall. " straw ".

But this is not true, the odds remain the same: 50/50.

4. The Barnum effect

A common situation: a person reads his horoscope. He of course thinks that astrology is a pseudoscience, but he decides to read his horoscope out of curiosity. But a strange thing happens: the description of his zodiac sign coincides with his ideas about himself.

Such things also happen to skeptics: psychologists have called this phenomenon the "Barnum effect" - in honor of a 19th-century American showman, Phineas Barnum.

Most people tend to perceive vague and general descriptions as accurate descriptions of their personalities. The more positive the description, the more accurate it seems to us.

5. The effect of self-fulfilling prophecy

A prophecy that does not reflect the truth, but seems convincing, can cause people to involuntarily take action to make the prophecy come true. And finally, the prophecy, which objectively had no chance of happening, turns out to be true.

The classic version of such a prophecy is described in Alexander Grin's story "Purple Cloths." The inventor of Aigle predicts to little Assol that when she grows up, a prince will come after her on a vessel with purple sails. He believes in this prediction with all his heart and the whole city soon finds out about it.

Then Captain Gray, who has fallen in love with the girl and finds out about the prophecy, takes a ship and puts purple sails on it. Assol sees this ship, thinks he is his bear and unites her fate with his. This is a happy ending, but one to which the miraculous forces have certainly not contributed.

6. Assignment error

We tend to explain other people's behavior through their personal qualities, and our actions - through objective circumstances. For example, if a person is late, we will say that they are irresponsible, while if we are late, we will explain this by traffic problems or other reasons.

This also influences our views on things in general - and this prevents us from taking responsibility for our actions.

7. Cascade of available information

The collective belief in an idea becomes greater if this idea is constantly repeated in public discourse. For example, many retirees are convinced of the veracity of an idea just because it is often talked about on television. The new generation may be going through the same mistakes because of Facebook.


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Jones Cain

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