Critical Thinking for Addiction Professionals

By Michael J. Taleff | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX
What Drives Bad Thinking?

Let's explore what drives poor thinking a little more. Back in Chapter 1, we examined a few motivations. There are many more, and you might appreciate this discussion a little better now that you have a good command of critical thinking fundamentals.

Addiction professionals continue to make thinking errors despite all our education and scientific understanding. For instance, addiction counselors try to figure out what clients are doing and why. Supervisors do the same thing with counselors, and administrators generally try to figure out ways to make ends meet. Sometimes these addiction professionals draw conclusions that defy all logic. So the question becomes this: What is behind this bad thinking? There is no simple answer; many things propel faulty thinking.


AN OVERVIEW OF REASONS WE THINK BADLY

We are all susceptible to bad thinking, no matter how bright or educated we are. One reason is that our minds are not always well organized (Raymo, 1998). For another, we are a species that relentlessly reflects on itself (Blackburn, 1999) and in that process a fairly universal problem occurs. Our perceptions distort the world (Roth, 1990). The reasons for this distortion are varied and complex.

Some authors have taken a stab at this complex problem and have come up with some interesting ideas (Beck, 1999). This chapter uses some of Beck's ideas, coupled with others, but there are many more reasons that drive us to think badly than the list

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