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Chapter 10. Taking Charge of Your Irrati... > Pathological Tendencies of the Human...

Pathological Tendencies of the Human Mind

We now can put explicitly into words an array of interrelated natural dispositions of the human mind that follow as consequences of the pathology of the natural mind. To significantly develop our thinking, we must overtly identify these tendencies as they operate in our lives, and we must correct them through critical-thinking processes. As you read them, ask yourself whether you recognize these as processes that take place regularly in your own mind (if you conclude, “not me!” think again):

  • Egocentric memory: the natural tendency to “forget” evidence and information that do not support our thinking and to “remember” evidence and information that do.

  • Egocentric myopia: the natural tendency to think in an absolutist way within an overly narrow point of view.

  • Egocentric righteousness: the natural tendency to feel superior in the light of our confidence that we possess the truth when we do not.

  • Egocentric hypocrisy: the natural tendency to ignore flagrant inconsistencies—for example, between what we profess to believe and the actual beliefs our behavior implies, or between the standards to which we hold ourselves and those to which we expect others to adhere.

  • Egocentric oversimplification: the natural tendency to ignore real and important complexities in the world in favor of simplistic notions when consideration of those complexities would require us to modify our beliefs or values.

  • Egocentric blindness: the natural tendency not to notice facts and evidence that contradict our favored beliefs or values.

  • Egocentric immediacy: the natural tendency to overgeneralize immediate feelings and experiences, so that when one event in our life is highly favorable or unfavorable, all of life seems favorable or unfavorable to us.

  • Egocentric absurdity: the natural tendency to fail to notice thinking that has “absurd” consequences.


  

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