What is wishful thinking

Wishful thinking

Wishful thinking - wishful thinking - describes in psychology the decision-making or the formation of convictions that are based on what people imagine as pleasant and what is not based on facts or rationality. Wishful thinking is often a product of resolving conflicts between belief and desires. Wishful thinking is therefore basically the wrong belief that something you want it to happen, even if it is highly improbable or even impossible, should happen. This belief is promoted by interpreting facts and events in the desired way, rather than making a sober logical analysis. It's just about believing in something because you want it to be that way. Wishful thinking is ultimately not just a cognitive distortion, but also a logical errorin the sense that wishful thinking is an argument whose premise in itself expresses the wish that the conclusion from it will come true.

Ultimately, it also means that people develop a preference for certain outcomes of events, which ultimately also influences their assessment. This usually results in an overestimation of the probability of pleasant events and an underestimation of the probability of unpleasant events, for example in the form of an unrealistic optimism that negative events happen less to you than to other people.

Wishful thinking in the form of illusory thinking is also found as the predominant thinking in infantile personalities or at psychopathological diseases from the schizophrenic circle of forms.


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