Heaven's Reward Fallacy

Heaven’s reward fallacy is an irrational thinking pattern which is evidenced by falsely believing that sacrificial behavior will definitely be rewarded by a certain divine force. People with this unrealistic cognitive framework trust that the world is always fair and that hard work and martyrdom always pay off; hence, they often feel frustrated and disappointed when their efforts do not seem to yield results.

For instance, a battered wife is enduring daily violence with the belief that her sacrifices will eventually be worth it. Heaven’s reward fallacy is one of the most common types of cognitive distortions based on Aaron Beck’s cognitive theory. These different types were developed by David Burns, a student of Beck.

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