Black or white thinking

This one is fairly easy to understand. Sometimes called all-or-nothing thinking, dichotomous

thinking, this type of error involves thinking in absolutes. One who engages in this type of thinking tend to use qualifiers to describe themselves and the world (e.g.every, never, all, no one, everybody, must etc..)

Some great example are

  • Everyone is having sex, since I’m not, I must be a loser/unlovable/.
  • I don’t understand this subject so I must be dumb/stupid
  • You’re either with me or against me

This error in thinking is a type of rigidity. Very few things in life are known with absolute precision or are referred to in absolutes. Being aware of the way we think by giving the world and ourselves some slack may make us less stressed overall and more accepting of life as it comes.

3 responses to “Black or white thinking”

  1. Jerome says :

    “You’re either with me or against me” could also be an excluded middle, or false dichotomy.

    Check out Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit:

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