Can you think of a situation where you have used these thinking styles?
If you jumped to these conclusions without looking
closely at all the evidence, such as the fact that the
person is expecting an important phone call soon, do
you think you’d end up feeling happy or distressed?
Often these conclusions are a reflection of how we think
bout ourselves, eg, "I think I'm boring," "I think I'm not
good enough", "I always do things wrong". Often we
jump to the conclusion that because we think poorly of
ourselves, then others must too.
We also jump to conclusions when we begin
making predictions about what is going to
happen on some future occasion, like we‘re
gazing into a crystal ball. This is a very
common way to increase anxiety and stress.
These are often predictions where you overestimate the
negative emotions or experiences you are going to
encounter. Think through this example. You’re asked to
give a talk to a group of people, and you think “I’m going
to get in there and forget what I’m supposed to say,
stumble over my words, and completely stuff up the
presentation, and this will be terrible”. You believe this
despite the fact that you have delivered many successful
presentations in the past. How might you feel if you
believed this overprediction?
Jumping to conclusions
Most of us would have heard the phrase “You’re
jumping to conclusions!” meaning that a conclusion is
being made without really knowing if there is any
evidence to support it. Although we might like to think
that if we “have a hunch” about something it is usually
right, there are times when we are not right. There
are times that we keep jumping to the wrong
conclusion, or the conclusions are usually negative.
When we do this consistently then we can cause
ourselves quite a bit of distress. There are two ways in
which we often jump to conclusions – mind reading and
e name suggests, this is where we jump to
conclusions because we assume that we know what
someone else is thinking, or we know the rationale
behind someone else's behaviours. This happens to be
a very common style of thinking.
Have you ever had this experience? You are talking to
, and during the conversation they look at
their watch? Perhaps you’ve thought, “they must think
I’m a really boring person”, or "they don't want to be
here with me."
unhelpful thinking styles
jumping to conclusions
When a person experiences an unhelpful emotion (eg, depression or anxiety), it is usually preceded
by a number of unhelpful self-statements and thoughts. Often there is a pattern to such thoughts and
we call these, "unhelpful thinking styles". One of the things we have noticed is that people use
unhelpful thinking styles as an automatic habit. It is something that happens out of our awareness.
However, when a person consistently and constantly uses some of these styles of thinking, they can
often cause themselves a great deal of emotional distress. One of these thinking styles is called
“jumping to conclusions”.
Briefly describe the situation. What were the thoughts that went
through your mind?
What feelings did you experience
consequent to your thinking?
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