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LOGIC
EGOCENTRIC MECHANISMS

 


A Labyrinth
 

1. Egocentric memory: Selective, convenient memory of evidence that supports one’s position and convenient suppression of relevant counterevidence. This kind of “forgetting” typically functions as an unconscious mechanism.

2. Egocentric myopia: An intellectual shortsightedness based upon dogmatic (non-falsifiable, rigid, inflexible) commitments to an overly narrow point of view (ethnocentrism, provincialism).

3. Egocentric illusion: The irrational tendency, often unconsciously assumed and practiced with an air of infallibility, to think one’s own beliefs are true because I or we believe them, or because I or we want them to be true. Compare the following egocentric and ethnocentric illusions:

X is true because I believe it (egocentrism)
X is true because I want to believe it (wish fulfillment or subjectivism)
X is true because I have always believed it (self-validation)
X is true because we (group, society, tribe, gang, race) believe it (ethnocentrism, provincialism)
X is true because it is in my selfish interest to believe it (selfishness)

4. Egocentric self-righteousness: A delusionary sense of superiority over the common masses or average person based upon an unwarranted, and therefore misguided, belief that one possesses the truth. It is an unwarranted over-confidence in the correctness of one’s views.

5. Egocentric hypocrisy: The irrational tendency to totally ignore blatant inconsistencies between our stated beliefs (profession) and the actual beliefs implied by our words and actions (practice). Our actual life-decisions and practices exhibit an implicational structure, i.e., they imply something about our values, priorities, and genuine beliefs (cf. the old adage “actions speak louder than words”). Egocentric hypocrisy is typically inconsistent in its application of evaluative standards, judging oneself according to a less stringent standard while simultaneously expecting others to adhere to a higher or stricter standard.

6. Egocentric oversimplification: The irrational tendency to ignore, repress or suppress real and significant complexities in the world in favor of simplistic concepts and explanations. This tendency functions as an avoidance mechanism since it removes any rational requirement to modify our beliefs or values in light of relevant and real complexities.

7. Egocentric blindness: The irrational tendency not to notice facts (relevant evidence, sound reasons, etc.) that challenge or contradict one’s cherished beliefs and values.

8. Egocentric immediacy: The irrational tendency to be so absorbed in the immediacy of the moment that one over-extends (projects, over-generalizes) these immediate feelings to completely different, unrelated spheres of existence or experience. Example: A 10-year-old boy just watched his favorite football team lose the Super Bowl in the last few seconds, after leading throughout the game. For a brief period, other facets of his life or experience take on an unfavorable, negative quality as well.

9. Egocentric absurdity: The irrational tendency to be blind to the logical absurdities (contradictions and inconsistencies) of our reasoning, especially when the conscious recognition of them would force us to revise particular positions or even our entire belief system (worldview).


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