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Encyclopedia > Wishful thinking

Wishful thinking is the formation of beliefs and making decisions according to what might be pleasing to imagine instead of by appealing to evidence or rationality. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Studies have consistently shown that holding all else equal, subjects will predict positive outcomes to be more likely than negative outcomes. See positive outcome bias. The valence effect of prediction is the tendency for people to simply overestimate the likelihood of good things happening rather than bad things. ...


Prominent examples of wishful thinking include:

Irving Fisher (February 27, 1867 Saugerties, New York — April 29, 1947, New York) was an American economist, health campaigner, and eugenicist. ... The 1929 stock market crash devastated economies worldwide The Wall Street Crash refers to the stock market crash that occurred on October 29, 1929, when share prices on the New York Stock Exchange collapsed, leading eventually to the Great Depression. ... For other uses, see The Great Depression (disambiguation). ... In the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister is the head of government, exercising many of the executive functions nominally vested in the Sovereign, who is head of state. ... This article is about the British prime minister. ... For the annual global security meeting held in Munich, see Munich Conference on Security Policy Chamberlain holds the paper containing the resolution to commit to peaceful methods signed by both Hitler and himself on his return from Germany in September 1938. ... Combatants Germany Romania Finland Italy Hungary Slovakia  Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb Fedor von Bock Gerd von Rundstedt Heinz Guderian Günther von Kluge Franz Halder Maresal Ion Antonescu C.G.E. Mannerheim Giovanni Messe, CSIR Italo Garibaldi, ARMIR Joseph Stalin Kliment Voroshilov Semyon Timoshenko Fyodor... John Kennedy and JFK redirect here. ... The CIA Seal The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an American intelligence agency, responsible for obtaining and analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, and reporting such information to the various branches of the U.S. Government. ... Combatants Cubans trained by Soviet advisers Cuban exiles trained by the United States Commanders Fidel Castro José Ramón Fernández Ernesto Che Guevara Francisco Ciutat de Miguel Grayston Lynch Pepe San Roman Erneido Oliva Strength 51,000 1,500 Casualties various estimates; over 1,600 dead (Triay p. ...

As a logical fallacy

In addition to being a cognitive bias and a poor way of making decisions, wishful thinking can also be a specific logical fallacy in an argument when it is assumed that because we wish something to be true or false that it is actually true or false. This fallacy has the form "I wish that P is true/false, therefore P is true/false."[1] Wishful thinking underlies appeals to emotion, and is a red herring. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Decision making is the cognitive process of selecting a course of action from among multiple alternatives. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Fallacy. ... Appeal to emotion is a logical fallacy wherein the arguer (who is using this fallacy) takes advantage of emotion to prove his or her argument. ... Ignoratio elenchi (also known as irrelevant conclusion) is the logical fallacy of presenting an argument that may in itself be valid, but which proves or supports a different proposition than the one it is purporting to prove or support. ...


Some atheists argue that much of theology, particularly arguments for the existence of God, is based on wishful thinking because it takes the desired outcome (that a god or gods exist) and tries to prove it on the basis of a premise through reasoning which can be analysed as fallacious, but which may nevertheless be wished "true" in the mind of the believer. Some theologians argue that it is actually atheism which is the product of wishful thinking, in that atheists may not want to believe in any gods or may not want there to be any gods. Both of these arguments would better be described as confirmation bias. Also, pseudoscience is often generated and maintained by wishful thinking about human abilities. For information about the band, see Atheist (band). ... Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Existence of God. ... It has been suggested that Myside bias be merged into this article or section. ... A typical 18th century phrenology chart. ...


Related fallacies are the Negative proof and Argument from ignorance fallacies ("It hasn't been proved false, so it must be true." and vice versa). For instance, a believer in UFOs may accept that most UFO photos are faked, but claim that the ones that haven't been debunked must be considered genuine. The fallacy of appealing to lack of proof of the negative is a logical fallacy of the following form: X is true because there is no proof that X is false. ... The argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam (appeal to ignorance [1]) or argument by lack of imagination, is a logical fallacy in which it is claimed that a premise is true only because it has not been proven false, or that a premise is false only because...


See also

A self-serving bias occurs when people are more likely to claim responsibility for successes than failures. ... A choice-supportive bias is an effect seen in memory when people are more likely to remember positive attributes as having been part of the option they chose than of the option they rejected. ... Emotional memory is an element of the Stanislavski System, an approach to acting. ... Groupthink is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. ...

External links

  • A study demonstrating wishful thinking in memory

  Results from FactBites:
 
Wishful thinking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (395 words)
Wishful thinking is the formation of beliefs and making decisions according to what might be pleasing to imagine instead of by appealing to evidence or rationality.
Wishful thinking underlies appeals to emotion, and is a red herring.
Wishful thinking applied to biography in general is a familiar aspect of hagiography.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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