In this series of posts we look at what you as a a facilitator can do to prevent “cognitive errors” from derailing dialogues. What is a “cognitive error”? It’s a thinking pattern that distorts the processing of facts, emotions and other information. Cognitive errors are often behind impasses or angry “flare-ups” in discussion.
Cognitive errors we will be reviewing in future posts include:
- Over-generalization and Filtering,
- Polarized Thinking,
- Catastrophizing and Personalization,
- and others, including mind-reading, “shoulds”, and fairness fallacies.
Where applicable, and as a supplement to our recent article on dialogue and gun violence , we illustrate this series with quotations taken from various press reports and blog posts on the issue of gun violence.
This series is part of our ongoing exploration of frameworks that can help you better navigate conflict. We invite you to also review our series on Sternberg’s Taxonomy of Hate, and the series on understanding the different levels and sources of conflict. These posts will also help you think about why certain issues become highly politicized and difficult to work through, so as to better plan for effective facilitation. We also invite you to use our workbook as a tool for analyzing conflict and planning effective dialogue.