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HUM 101 CSUGC Social Science Cognitive Biases in Thinking Discussion

HUM 101 CSUGC Social Science Cognitive Biases in Thinking Discussion


A) Sociocentrism refers to the tendency to view the world primarily from the perspective of one’s own social group or culture, often leading to biased or narrow thinking. Here are some examples of where sociocentrism might be at work in your thinking or that of those around you:

  1. Confirmation Bias: People may seek out information or engage in conversations that confirm their pre-existing beliefs or those of their social group. This can lead to the exclusion of alternative viewpoints and hinder critical thinking.
  2. Ethnocentrism: Individuals may judge other cultures or social groups based on the standards and values of their own culture, often leading to misunderstandings, prejudice, or stereotypes.
  3. In-group Favoritism: People may tend to show favoritism towards their own social group, even when it’s not justified, which can lead to unfairness and discrimination.

Sociocentrism is detrimental to critical reasoning because it narrows one’s perspective and inhibits the ability to consider diverse viewpoints and evidence. It fosters an environment where critical thinking is stifled, and decisions are often made based on preconceived notions rather than a rational and open-minded assessment of facts and arguments.

B) Cognitive fallacies outlined by Wilke and Mata (2012) can impede personal growth and critical thinking in various ways. Some of these fallacies include:

  1. Confirmation Bias: This fallacy can hinder personal growth by reinforcing existing beliefs and preventing individuals from considering new information that might challenge their current views. To combat this, one should actively seek out diverse perspectives and evidence, and be open to revising their beliefs in the face of compelling evidence to the contrary.
  2. Hindsight Bias: This fallacy involves the tendency to believe, after an event has occurred, that one would have predicted or expected it. It can hinder personal growth by making individuals overconfident in their abilities to predict outcomes. To combat this, it’s essential to critically evaluate one’s decision-making process and acknowledge the role of chance and uncertainty in life.
  3. Anchoring Bias: Anchoring occurs when individuals rely too heavily on the first piece of information encountered when making decisions. It can impede personal growth by limiting one’s exploration of alternative options. To counter this bias, one should consciously consider multiple sources of information and avoid fixating on initial impressions.

To recognize and combat these fallacious forms of thinking, individuals can take the following steps:

  • Practice Self-awareness: Reflect on your thinking patterns and be mindful of when you might be falling into cognitive traps.
  • Seek Diverse Perspectives: Actively engage with people who hold different viewpoints or come from diverse backgrounds to broaden your perspective.
  • Challenge Assumptions: Question your own assumptions and those of others. Ask for evidence and logical reasoning behind beliefs and conclusions.
  • Develop Critical Thinking Skills: Improve your critical thinking skills through reading, learning about logical fallacies, and practicing analytical thinking.
  • Consider Alternative Explanations: When faced with a conclusion or belief, consider alternative explanations or hypotheses that might provide a more comprehensive understanding of the situation.

By recognizing and actively addressing these cognitive fallacies, individuals can promote personal growth and enhance their critical reasoning abilities.

HUM 101 CSUGC Social Science Cognitive Biases in Thinking Discussion

Question Description

I’m studying and need help with a Social Science question to help me learn.


Discerning Fallacies and Cognitive Biases in Our Thinking


A) Where do you see sociocentrism at work in your own thinking or the  thinking of those around you? Why is sociocentrism detrimental to  critical reasoning?

B) As you think about your personal goals and aspirations, what  cognitive fallacies outlined by Wilke and Mata (2012) might impede your  growth? What active steps might you take to recognize and combat such  fallacious forms of thinking?


Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2012). Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life (3rd edition). Boston: Pearson.


  • Chapters 7, 11, & 13 in Critical thinking: Tools for taking charge of your learning and your  life (3rd ed.). 
  • Anonymous.  (2015). Let’s think about cognitive bias. Nature, 526(7572), 163.
  • Lau, J., & Chan, J. (2017). Fallacies. Retrieved from http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/fallacy/
  • Lau, J., & Chan, J. (2017). Inductive reasoning.  Retrieved from http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/arg/induction.php
  • Wilke A., & Mata, R. (2012) Cognitive bias. Retrieved  from https://adweb.clarkson.edu/~awilke/Research_files/EoHB_Wilke_12.pdf
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