This is a list of common, and disheartening, mistakes people make in
thinking about things. The idea is to learn to spot when you're making
these mistakes, and to become able to stop them as you spot them.
All-or-nothing thinking, thinking in mutually exclusive
categories e.g. ``If I'm not on top, I'm a flop''
Drawing a general conclusion on the basis of a single incident
e.g. ``Nothing ever goes right for me''
Selective abstraction (mental filter)
Conceptualising a whole situation on the basis of one detail
taken out of context e.g. ``you missed a bit up there''
Discounting the positive
Positive/neutral -> negative; negative -> negative+++ (gold
into lead) e.g. ``He's only saying that to be kind''
Arbitrary inference (jumping to conclusions)
Forming an interpretation of an event in the absence of
supporting evidence / presence of contradictory evidence e.g.
``They'll think I'm boring'' (mind-reading); ``It'll never
Magnification/minimisation (binocular trick)
Overemphasizing negatives / underemphasising positives e.g.
``Something terrible is going to happen. There's nothing I can do
Using feelings as a basis for judgements and ignoring other
factors e.g. ``If I feel it, it must be true.''
Shoulds, oughts, musts (musturbation)
Using self-commands and duty as prime motivators e.g. ``I should
be over this by now''; Refusing to accept reality e.g. ``Things
shouldn't be this way''
Assuming that the value of a person can be equated witha single
action; reacting to the label rather than the event e.g. ``He's a
complete bastard'' (labelling); ``This is terrible''
Assuming responsibility for events beyond one's control e.g. ``My
fault they didn't enjoy my party''