Errors in thinking essay

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Many of a person’s thoughts are not rational or realistic at all. As much as people want to believe that their brains always process everything correctly, they are often wrong. Three different errors in thinking can cause serious problems for human beings.

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The first error in thinking that causes problems for people is argument from ignorance. Argument from ignorance is when a person cannot explain an event, they turn to an immediate, often supernatural explanation. This error in thinking leads to many strange conclusions. People who believe in aliens might say, “She could not remember how she got that bruise, so she must have been abducted by aliens.” Others would say, “No one knew how the light flickered on and off, so it must have been a ghost.” Others still would say, “He could not explain the figure he saw walking through the woods, so it must have been Bigfoot.” While these occurrences may be strange, people should not jump to far-fetched conclusions too quickly.

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Another error in thinking that gets in people’s way is that people tend to misperceive their world. Our senses can fool us even if we think that they are completely reliable. The Amityville Horror House is a haunted house in which an entire family was killed by their son/brother. Now, many people believe that it is haunted. In the house, people claim to see or hear things that they believe are ghosts. These people’s minds could be tricking them to see or hear what they want to see or hear. Other people tell stories about ouija boards. Ouija boards are boards that are used by some to communicate with the spirit world. Everyone puts their hands on a moving piece and a “spirit” moves it to create a message. This could be the people moving the piece without knowing it in a process known as the ideomotor effect. The Bermuda Triangle is an area in the Caribbean where ships and planes have been known to mysteriously vanish. Many people who believe in the Bermuda Triangle theory say that pilots saw UFOs there, but the pilots could have seen something else, like another plane, in the fog. Misperceptions can get in the way of a person’s decisions.

Photo Credit: Silver Bulletin

A final error in thinking that is significant is that people rarely appreciate the role of chance and coincidence in their lives. Sometimes certain things happen and it is strictly chance. Some parents say that after their children were vaccinated, they developed autism, so the vaccination must have caused it. Hypnotists say that since some of the events their patients described matched up with real events in history, they must have been there in a past life. Acupuncture patients say that after their treatment, they began to heal, so the acupuncture is curing them. These may be coincidences and might not necessarily be linked.

While some cases of errors in thinking are harmless, others can cause physical and emotional damage to an individual. This is why it is important to think critically and not jump to conclusions about events one sees or hears about from others.

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