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Overgeneralization

You view a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.

Example

Bob has once won a lottery. He then overgeneralized that the particular store where he bought the ticket and the particular time of a day was his lucky combination. Throughout the following years, Bob continued to buy lottery tickets in the same store and at the same time of a day, but never had any significant wins again.

Explained

This thinking error happens when our mind makes a universal rule out of a single isolated event. The made-up rule is a broad conclusion about life in general, derived from a tiny detail.

Overgeneralization is a form of lazy thinking. Instead of openly investigating different possible alternatives and trying to better understand the whole picture, the mind decides that it’s enough – “I now know it all”.

It is a thinking error because it contradicts widely-accepted facts about reality.

How to fix it

You can fix your thinking bugs with the help of the CBT app - a digital version of the classical Cognitive Behavioral Therapy practice.

Take a fresh look at the situation. Do you see any other variables besides the single overgeneralized conclusion that the mind had made? Challenge the thought by rewriting it in a more realistic and rational way, considering the possible positive alternatives, looking at the situation individually, and not trying to make out of it a general rule about life.