Polarized Thinking

Polarized thinking or black and white thinking is an irrational thinking characterized by the “all or nothing” principle. People with this unrealistic expectation do not see gray areas in most situations; hence, they often feel frustrated, bitter, and disappointed. For example, an extremely competitive person believes that he should be “number one or nothing at all”. Polarized thinking 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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