Thursday, April 28, 2016

Critical Thinking, Logical Fallacies & the 10 StEPs

Because our most of the people around us used them, most of us grew up having been conditioned, socialized, habituated and normalized to many forms of logical fallacies.

Irrational, illogical, delusional thinking wouldn't be a problem if it didn't -- as heaps of cognitive research have shown -- cause so much communication difficulty, anxiety, depression and general grief. See, for example, this article

Those who go to college to major in science subjects are required to take a course in critical thinking. Many who take that course come to see, hear and otherwise sense how they were normalized to logical fallacies... and develop the ability to see through them. 

Moreover, the cognitive movement in psychotherapy that began in the 1950s with Albert Ellis developed very effective new forms of therapy built on critical thinking to --as is done with the 10 StEPs of Emotion Processing -- observe to notice to recognize to acknowledge to accept to own to appreciate to understand to digest, discharge and overcome the emotional and behavioral effects of those logical fallacies. 

Ellis's Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy was the first of the "cognitive-behavioral therapies" or CBTs, and it is still far and away the most effective for many who really get into it. 

Ellis's ten most significant logical fallacies are listed below (as well as at this web page). The page numbers are from Ellis's best-selling book, A Guide to Rational Living.

"One must have love or approval from all the significant people in one's life (101).

"One absolutely must be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving or must be competent or talented in some important area (115).

"Other people absolutely must not act obnoxiously and unfairly, and, that when they do, one should blame and damn them, and see them as bad, wicked, or rotten individuals (127).

"One has to see things as being awful, terrible, and catastrophic when one is seriously frustrated or treated unfairly (139).

"One must be miserable when one has pressures and difficult experiences and has little ability to control, and cannot change, one's disturbed feelings (155).

"If something is dangerous or fearsome, one must obsess about it and frantically try to escape from it (163).

"One can easily avoid facing many difficulties and self-responsibilities and still lead a highly fulfilling existence (177).

"One's past remains all-important, and because something once strongly influenced one's life, it has to keep determining one's feelings and behavior today (187).

"It is awful and horrible is one cannot change life's grim facts to suit one's requirements (197).

"One can achieve maximum happiness by inertia and inaction or by passively and un-committedly enjoying oneself (207)."

When I began to observe, notice, recognize, acknowledge, accept, own, appreciate and understand these some time ago, my life began to change really fast. 

For if one can see, hear and sense how one's logical fallacies effect one's emotions and behaviors, one is greatly more empowered by reality to make major changes in their lives. 

It's not our inner children's (see Berne, and Harris) fault. They did not ask to be in-struct-ed, trained, socialized, conditioned, habituated and normalized to thinking the way most people do in the working class culture. And they were certainly not born that way. 

But what I learned was that if I wanted to develop a functional and effective, okay inner parent (see Berne, and Harris) to take care of the boys on my bus, I would have to learn about and be mindful of the logical fallacies those boys were taught to believe.

See other articles on the 10 StEPs at...

The 10 StEPs of Emotion Processing

The 10 StEPs and the Consensus Trance

The 10 StEPs for Dysfunctional Ego Defenses

The 10 StEPs & Ogden's Sensorimotor Processing

References & Resources

Berne, E.: Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy, New York: Random House, 1961.

Berne, E.: Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships / The Basic Handbook of Transactional Analysis, San Francisco: Grove Press, 1964, 1996.

Ellis, A.; Harper, R.: A Guide to Rational Living, North Hollywood, CA: Melvin Powers, 1961.

Ellis, A.; Becker, I.: A Guide to Personal Happiness, North Hollywood, CA: Melvin Powers, 1982.

Ellis, A.; Dryden, W.: The Practice of Rational Emotive Therapy, New York: Springer Publishing Company, 1987.

Ellis, A.: Overcoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and Behaviors: New Directions for Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, New York: Promethius Books, 2001.

Harris, T.: I’m Okay—You’re Okay, New York: Harper and Row, 1968.

Ruggiero, V. R.: Beyond Feelings: A Guide to Critical Thinking, 4th Ed., Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing, 1995.

© 2016 by Rodger Garrett; all rights reserved. Links are permitted. Please contact with comments or questions. Thank you.

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