Confirmation Bias and Word Thinking

My last post on word thinking got a lot of hits. Many people were positive but some people pointed out that this concept – word thinking – is just confirmation bias.

Word thinking is NOT confirmation bias.

Allow me to explain.

Confirmation bias is the process by which an individual seeks to confirm their own beliefs by paying attention to only those facts which confirm the a priori belief and ignoring, or giving significantly less focus to, the facts that challenge a belief.

Word thinking, in contrast, is the process by which an individual ascribes a label, definition, or word to a person, group, object etc… and substitute individual analysis for the pre-defined category being used as a label.

My example was a little confusing, and I think it’s fair to say that what I was talking about was more confirmation bias than word thinking but I think the example still works from a different perspective.

Radical Psychologists know that people are word thinkers. We substitute real thinking for easy go-to categories that LOOK like thinking. To use the example in my last post if we believe a person is “creepy” or a “stalker” we can then comfortable put them in the “bad” category and be done with them, no further analysis is needed on our part and it LOOKS like we have made a rational decision.

Hopefully this clears things up for the Radical Psychologists out there.

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