- Dichotomous Thinking is a Cognitive Distortion, an automatic irrational thought.
- It is also known as polarized, black-or-white, or all-or-nothing thinking.
- Dichotomous Thinking means to only focus on the extremes and excludes everything that is in-between.
- It is like the world itself is either black or white, and nuances of grey are not acknowledged.
- Dichotomous Thinking is a type of thinking that does not support nuances.
- This type of reasoning is flawed because the world is a place of diversity.
- By activating black or white thinking, we miss the variety in the world around us and even within ourselves.
Examples of Dichotomous Thinking:
“People are either good or bad.”
“Students are either smart or stupid.”
“Your life is either a success or a failure.”
These views are only considering the extremes. For instance, regarding the first example, people are complex beings, and their behaviors and traits cover a wide range of implications and consequences.
How To Manage Dichotomous Thinking
Observe whether you limit your views about a certain topic to only two opposing categories or values, and try to see whether there are intermediary segments that would describe them better.