COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS LIST
COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS ARE simply a way that our mind convinces us of something that isn’t really true. These inaccurate thoughts are usually used to reinforce negative thinking or emotions — telling ourselves things that sound rational and accurate, but really only serve to keep us in a ‘childish’ mindset unconscious and unaware of all our possibilities.
COGNITIVE DISTORTION Defined:
"Cognitive distortions are exaggerated and irrational thoughts, identified in cognitive therapy and its variants, which in theory perpetuate some psychological disorders. The theory of cognitive distortions was presented by David Burns in The Feeling Good Handbook in 1989, after studying under Aaron T. Beck. Eliminating these distortions and negative thoughts is said to improve mood and discourage maladies such as depression and chronic anxiety. The process of learning to refute these distortions is called "cognitive restructuring".
MAGICAL THINKING Defined:
"Magical thinking is causal reasoning that looks for correlation between acts or utterances and certain events. In religion, folk religion, and superstition, the correlation posited is between religious ritual, such as prayer, sacrifice, or the observance of a taboo, and an expected benefit or recompense. In clinical psychology, magical thinking is a condition that causes the patient to experience irrational fear of performing certain acts or having certain thoughts because they assume a correlation with their acts and threatening calamities.
"Quasi-magical thinking" describes "cases in which people act as if they erroneously believe that their action influences the outcome, even though they do not really hold that belief".
Psychological Projection Defined:
Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings.
Projection reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the unwanted unconscious impulses or desires without letting the conscious mind recognize them.
An example of this behavior might be blaming another for self failure. The mind may avoid the discomfort of consciously admitting personal faults by keeping those feelings unconscious, and by redirecting libidinal satisfaction by attaching, or "projecting," those same faults onto another person or object.
POLARIZED THINKING Defined:
Polarized Thinking (false choice, dichotomy, primal thinking, false dilemma, black and white thinking):
This is the misconception of thinking that things are black or white, good or bad, all or nothing. This mistake thinking style can lead to unbending and detrimental rules based on primal thinking (when it is efficient to compress complex information into simple-minded categories for rapid decision making during times of stress, conflict, or threat…fight or flight).
Polarized thinking can also lead to injurious forms of perfectionism. The reality often lies in the sizeable middle ground between these two polarized extremes or poles. Recognize and reject the false dichotomy. The words “either / or” are a reliable signal alerting us to a false dichotomy.The theory was developed by Sigmund Freud - in his letters to Wilhelm Fliess, '"Draft H" deals with projection as a mechanism of defence' - and further refined by his daughter Anna Freud; for this reason, it is sometimes referred to as Freudian Projection.
ALL OR NOTHING THINKING Defined:
All-or-nothing thinking in cognitive distortion may mean two things: splitting of the mind, and splitting of mental concepts (or black and white thinking). The latter is thinking purely in extremes (e.g., goodness vs. evil, innocence vs. corruption, victimization vs. oppression, etc.), and as such can be seen as a developmental stage and as a defense mechanism. In psychoanalysis, there are the concepts of splitting of the self as well as splitting of the ego. This stems from existential insecurity, or instability of one's self-concept.
Dichotomous Thinking Defined:
Dichotomous Thinking also known as all-or-none thinking or black and white thinking is a type of thinking or cognition in which a person classifies something into two absolute categories rather than a range or spectrum between two categories ("shades of gray").
A False Dilemma Defined:
A False Dilemma (also called false dichotomy, the either-or fallacy, fallacy of false choice, black-and-white thinking, or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses) is a type of logical fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there are additional options (sometimes shades of grey between the extremes). For example, "It wasn't medicine that cured Ms. X, so it must have been a miracle."
False dilemma can arise intentionally, when fallacy is used in an attempt to force a choice (such as, in some contexts, the assertion that "if you are not with us, you are against us"). But the fallacy can also arise simply by accidental omission of additional options rather than by deliberate deception (e.g., "I thought we were friends, but all my friends were at my apartment last night and you weren't there").
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