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Jumping To Conclusions: What Does It Mean? | Assertiveness Basics

  • Jumping to Conclusions is a Cognitive Distortion, an automatic irrational thought.
  • It refers to reaching conclusions that are not supported by any of the available evidence, or where there simply is no evidence at all.
  • This type of Cognitive Distortion presents itself via two subtypes: Mind-reading and Fortune-telling.
  • Mind-reading is about assuming that a person will react in a certain way before the triggering event even occurs.
  • Fortune-telling is about assuming that an event will unfold in a particular way.

Examples of “Jumping To Conclusions”

Mind-reading:

“She declined my invitation to the party because she doesn’t like me”.

There is no evidence for this conclusion and many other factors could have contributed to this person’s decision to not attend the event.

Fortune-telling:

“The second they will find out about the mistake she made during the business meeting, they will fire her”.

There is no information about the consequences of the meeting. Unless otherwise specified in an internal company document, there is no reason for anyone to believe that a person would get fired as a direct consequence after making a mistake.

How To Manage the “Jumping To Conclusions” Cognitive Distortion

It is recommended that you refrain from thinking about the outcome of a situation until you gather all the facts and data. Then, make sure that your conclusion is supported by the available evidence.

Also, build the habit of asking people for their opinion and clarifications regarding a situation before you assume what their motivations or triggers might have been.