Dualistic Thinking

Dualistic thinking assumes a universe where there are only two opposing, mutually incompatible options or realities. This type of thinking is either/or, good/bad, negative/positive, and has a significant impact on our beliefs and behaviours.

Our development is stymied by dualistic thinking. The sooner we can break free from this either/or mindset, the sooner we can nurture greater success in the workplace and in our personal lives.

This either/or mentality contributes to our fears and concerns by presuming the false restriction that no other choices exist. We might feel confined, perceiving little freedom when we think in this way.

We may feel trapped or powerless in a circumstance when our options, choices, and determination appear to be limited. We tend to react emotionally in such cases, sometimes not even aware of the reasons why. 

Dualistic thinking hinders our personal and professional progress because we rarely allow for a range of options. We rate the situations and people around us on a binary scale. We reduce our capacity to see alternative possibilities by limiting ourselves to only two options.

Our psychological bias is a significant hazard of dualistic thinking. The “snake bite” effect, for example, occurs when an investor has a bad experience with an investment that causes them to be more cautious in future investment decisions, lowering their return potential.

The fear of regret and feeling like we have made a decision that is inherently ‘wrong’ leads to this bias. One way to counter this effect is to adopt a strategy that closely adheres to predetermined investing criteria and eliminates most of the decision-making process on what to purchase, when to purchase, and how much to purchase.

Using rules-based trading techniques decreases the likelihood of an investor making a discretionary decision based on previous investment success.

We create unrealistic expectations when we consider simply “good” and “bad”. Whatever decision you make will have implications, some of which will be unexpected.

Those implications may appear to be a choice between what you leave behind against what you get, or there may be aspects of both that you appreciate. It’s crucial to recognise that it’s often impractical to expect our actions to only have two possible outcomes; we should always look for a third outcome to help balance our expectations.

Once we have realised this, we can concentrate on what appears to be the best course of action for our personal circumstances.

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