Note posted on May 6, 2021

One cognitive bias we don't pay enough attention to is "polarized thinking." It drives us to think of things in all-or-nothing terms. It can affect our thoughts in more ways than I've realized.

  • Seeing the pandemic as all-encompassing or completely over.
  • If folks of the opposite sex aren't drooling over us, they find us repulsive.
  • Family and friends either love us or are out to destroy our lives.
  • We exercise ourselves to death or don't bother leaving the couch.

Accepting things in the middle area is tougher. It's less dramatic and more drawn out. It's less exciting and more complicated. But more often than not, and statistically speaking, the truth is in the in-between.

The hard part is those rare cases when the truth is extreme. It's rare, but it happens. If I meet someone claiming that, I'm asking for plenty of solid evidence. Either that or a pair of headphones.