Jumping into Conclusions

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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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.

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.
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.

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.

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.
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.
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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RELATED IDEAS

Premise 1: I can’t explain or imagine how proposition X can be true.

Premise 2: if a certain proposition is true, then I must be able to explain or imagine how that can be.

Conclusions: proposition X is false.

The Argument from Incredulity: How People Explain What They Don't Understand

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Cherry picking

It is a logical fallacy and it happens when we choose and focus only on evidence that supports our views and arguments while ignoring anything that may contradict us.

Cherry Picking: When People Ignore Evidence that They Dislike

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Jumping Into Conclusions

It is a form of cognitive distortion which generally gravitates towards the negative. This happens without any justifiable cause or reason and is not based on any fact.

It is like owning a crystal ball that only predicts misery.

Fortunetelling, mind reading and jumping to conclusions

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