Automatic Thoughts: Seven Common Cognitive Biases

Welcome to the Topic “Automatic Thoughts: Seven Common Cognitive Biases”

Cognitive biases are ways of thinking about and experiencing the environment that may or may not be accurate. We may believe we have complete impartiality when we observe the world around us, but this is seldom (if ever) the case. Each perceives things differently depending on our assumptions, prior experiences, and environmental or societal variables, but this does not always imply that the way we think or feel about something is accurate.

Our imaginations can occasionally play tricks on us depending on how we perceive circumstances. They can persuade us of things that aren’t true, even though they seem sensible.

When these false ideas influence our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, we may feel nervous, agitated, angry, or unhappy about ourselves (or the world around us).

The seven most common cognitive biases are shown below.

Negative self-talk

Negative self-talk is defined as any inner conversation you have with yourself that may inhibit your capacity to believe in yourself and your skills and realize your full potential. It is an idea that undermines your capacity to make good changes in your life or the belief in your ability to do so. Negative self-talk may not only be unpleasant, but it can also be detrimental to your achievement.

Automatic Thoughts
Automatic Thoughts


Catastrophizing, also known as catastrophic thinking, occurs when a person anticipates the worst-case scenario or feels that things are even far worse than they seem to be. It’s a kind of faulty thinking, also known as a cognitive distortion. Catastrophic thinking can occur in both children and adults, but you can learn ways to adjust your way of thinking and prevent spiraling into negative ideas.

Fortune Telling

Fortune telling is a cognitive error in which you foresee a bad result without considering the true probabilities of that happening. It is associated with anxiety and sadness, and it is one of the most prevalent cognitive distortions that emerge during cognitive restructuring.


It is the process of affixing a label on yourself or others, which may be negative or good. When you apply a label to yourself or another person, that label becomes what is used to characterize you or the other person. It assumes that this name represents that person’s essence rather than who they are at that time.

Discounting Positive

Finding reasons why your pleasant experiences are insignificant or do not count is discounting positives. When you have a default thinking habit of discounting the positives, you develop a bias toward the unpleasant experiences you encounter, not because you don’t perceive the good, but because you believe the negative ones are more essential and relevant to your identity.

Emotional Reasoning

As a cognitive distortion, emotional reasoning involves incorrectly judging yourself and your environment, including individuals you interact with, depending on the feelings you are experiencing. For example, if you are anxious, you may mistakenly assume that a harmful occurrence is likely to occur or that you will be unable to deal with a future result.


If you are often told to “stop taking everything so personally,” you are most certainly experiencing personalization. You blame yourself for circumstances beyond your control. You mistakenly feel that everything someone says or does is in direct response to you. Personalization might lead you to believe that you are being targeted or excluded. It might also lead to you comparing yourself to others.

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