The 5 Cognitive Distortions Successful People Use To Get Things Done

Michael Dearing, an associate professor at Stanford, gave an interesting (albeit speculative) presentation on
the five automatic thought processes(cognitive distortions) of people who get things done.

The five distortions are:

1. Personal exceptionalism

2. Dichotomous thinking

3. Correct overgeneralization

4. Blank canvas thinking

5. Schumpeterianism

Personal Exceptionalism

… a macro sense that you are in the top of your cohort, your work is snowflake-special, or that you are destined to have experiences well outside the bounds of “normal;” not to be confused with arrogance or high self-esteem

Dichotomous Thinking

being extremely judgmental of people, experiences, things; highly opinionated at the extremes; sees black and white, little grey …

Correct Overgeneralization

making universal judgments from limited observations and being right a lot of the time

Blank-Canvas Thinking

sees own life as a blank canvas, not a paint-by-numbers

Schumpeterianism (I am a creative destruction machine.)

In Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, Joseph Schumpeter writes:

The opening up of new markets, foreign or domestic, and the organizational development from the craft shop and factory to such concerns as U.S. Steel illustrate the same process of industrial mutation — if I may use that biological term — that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one. This process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism. It is what capitalism consists in and what every capitalist concern has got to live in. …”

Dearing defines Schumpeterianism as:

sees creative destruction as natural, necessary, and as their vocation

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.