- My neighbor went back inside, when she saw me leaving my house, she’s probably a racist and hates foreigners.
- My friends didn’t wish me on my birthday, maybe they don’t like me anymore.
- She’s checking her phone while I talk…wow she’s rude!
These are just some of the prime examples of me getting on thought train then mid-way turning it into a flying saucer and flying it off to conclusion station without going through the track of logical reasoning. This what psych speak calls Jumping to Conclusion.
Be it Columbus’s discovery of “India” or the primitive human’s understanding of God/gods. The ability to see something and deducing something that is completely antithetical is a common practice throughout history of humanity. The arguments by creationists is often that we’re too perfect to have evolved. We must have been put here by a higher authority, is a masterful example of jumping to conclusions. A bit trivial but no less pernicious idea is the Neo-Nazi idea that because some of them can drink milk, they are superior to the rest because most humans have not evolved to process lactose after childhood. This is not only spectacularly wrong but really hard to take seriously. The conclusion of current right wing hindutva advocates that Hindus are in danger based on the mere existence of Pakistan is another such example.
Conservatives have often called poverty a fault in the character rather than lack of money. [Side note: Rutger Bregman has written an excellent book called Utopia for Realists on poverty alleviation through basic income]. All these points have been proven false through statistically significant data sets, yet the excuse is always, “just because they haven’t proved it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”
What my limited world view and echo chamber shows is that if half the humanity can be so wrong about so many things, how can I be immune to this flaw.
I have decided that instead of concluding someone is dead when they don’t call me back, I will give them 24 hours to get back to me. Also when things go wrong in the lab, I will not assume that the universe is out to ruin my life.
Hope you take the slower route to conclusions as well.