Wishful thinking

From Academic Kids

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.

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.

Prominent examples of wishful thinking include:

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.

For example:

The teacher gave us a difficult exam! We shouldn't have to be subjected to such stress under the course of our education.

It may be that it was uncomfortable, but that does not mean that uncomfortable things should always be avoided. Wishful thinking underlies appeals to emotion, and is a red herring.

See also

Self-serving bias may be a directly resulting cognitive bias; see the list of cognitive biases for more. Wishful thinking also plays a part in groupthink, which concerns group decision making.

The historicity of religious figures is a field that may be conducive to some wishful thinking (compare the Historicity of Jesus Christ). Wishful thinking applied to biography in general is a familiar aspect of hagiography.de:Wunschglauben eo:Revpensado pt:Wishful thinking he:בשם_המשאלה

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