Jumping to Conclusions: When People Decide Based on Insufficient Information - Deepstash
Jumping into Conclusions
Jumping to conclusions is a common phenomenon, where people prematurely decide and finalize something, without having sufficient information or choosing not to consider it.

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Jumping into Conclusions: Examples
  • Inference-observation confusion: An assumption made that may or may not be correct. Example: Concluding that a guy is rich, based on the car he drives.
  • Fortune-Telling: Assumption of knowing exactly what will happen in the future.
  • Mind Reading: Assuming based on how to have read someone's mind and concluded something which may not be true.
  • Extreme Extrapolation: Finding a minor clue and making something major out of it.
  • Overgeneralization: Copy-pasting a piece of knowledge over something that you think is related, but is not.
  • Labeling: Stereotyping a set of people based on their likes and dislikes.

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Why We Jump to Conclusions

The reason people jump to conclusions is the fact that they find it easy.

Fact-checking and 100 percent accuracy on everything they see or observe consume way too much time for a normal person.

Taking mental shortcuts is the path most people choose to jump to conclusions.

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Our Cognitive Bias

People can be biased in many ways and jump into intuitive judgments that may not necessarily be correct. When we need to make a decision quickly, sometimes jumping into a conclusion with insufficient facts maybe the right way to go. Jumping into conclusions becomes problematic when it gets sub-optimal and leads to wrong decisions.

This is observed in the medical field(Premature Closure) and in cases of paranormal belief or witchcraft.

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The Common Factors

Certain factors increase the chances of people jumping into conclusions:

  • A certain pre-existing belief, which leads to confirmation bias.
  • A desire for closure or certainty in the future course of events.

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Mental Disorders
People with mental disorders sometimes are more likely to engage in a premature conclusion. Their inner delusions and paranoid thoughts lead to this behaviour.
But also a big part of the people who believe conspiracy theories (which may or may not be true) falls into this category.

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A Logical Fallacy

While jumping to conclusions is viewed as a cognitive phenomenon, and is unintentional, it can also be a logical fallacy.

This means that the jumping-to-conclusions bias causes people to jump to conclusions when it comes to their internal reasoning process, which in turn causes them to use the jumping-to-conclusions fallacy in their arguments.

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How to Avoid Jumping to Conclusions
  • Question the validity of the information.
  • Collect maximum information before reaching any hypothesis.
  • Come up with multiple hypotheses.
  • Don't favor a certain outcome.
  • Find potential flaws in your own reasoning and question your facts.
  • Recheck the premise and the first principles.
  • Use a debiasing technique, visualizing the situation from other people's perspectives.

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