Absolute Thinking

Absolute thinking, sometime called absolutist thinking, refers to the cognitively detrimental habit of describing feeling and circumstances in concrete, absolute terms.

An example would be someone using "I am totally devastated," or "My life is completely destroyed" to describe situations that are difficult to deal with. This cognitive bias is characterized by thinking is all or nothing, black or white, and absolutist. Although this is a normal short-term reaction to sudden life changes and unfortunate events, it's also normal to regroup and cope with the situation.

Absolute thinking and an unusual difficulty or inability to acknowledge and/or cope with life challenges can be a symptom of serious mental or physical illness such as depression anxiety, or even diseases such as Parkinson's. Individuals who exhibit absolute thinking have a general tendency to readily categorize things in their environment and there seems to be a link with authoritarianism thinking.

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