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Old 01-06-2005, 02:47 PM   #1
AcquaCow
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Question Looking for the propper term for Catostrophe thinking (Psych. people please click)

I'm trying to track down the propper term/name for a catastrophic thinker's argument.

IE: I mention to someone that XXX car will perfectly suit their needs, but they respond "well IF I buy XXX THEN blah blah blah will happen and I'll be SOL."

It's a type of thinking, where you always arrive at the worst case scenerio and therefore do nothing before anything even happens.

I read the term somewhere on a thread last week and I just can't seem to find it. There's a special name for that type of thinking/response.

Anyone out there than knows off hand where I might find it, or what it's called?

Thanks,

-- Dave
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Old 01-06-2005, 02:50 PM   #2
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a pessimist?
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Old 01-06-2005, 02:55 PM   #3
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No, that's different, possibly not nearly as extreme.
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Old 01-06-2005, 02:57 PM   #4
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doomsday prophesist...
Chicken little syndrome...
My Mom.
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Old 01-06-2005, 02:58 PM   #5
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alarmist
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Old 01-06-2005, 02:58 PM   #6
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Doomsayer, Depricator, Alarmist
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Old 01-06-2005, 03:46 PM   #7
Mike Wevrick
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fatalist?
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Old 01-06-2005, 03:49 PM   #8
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Defeatist.
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Old 01-06-2005, 04:14 PM   #9
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I'm not looking for the term to define the person, I'm trying to find the term that describes that kind of conversation.
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Old 01-06-2005, 04:15 PM   #10
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Self defeating? Self fulfilling prophesy?
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Old 01-06-2005, 04:17 PM   #11
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slippery slope fallacy, most definitely.
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Old 01-06-2005, 04:29 PM   #12
AcquaCow
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Slippery Slope!

That has to be it... *Google*
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Old 01-06-2005, 04:32 PM   #13
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Where's the psychology people?
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Old 01-06-2005, 04:34 PM   #14
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Yes! And here's the post I saw it in: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...4&postcount=10

Thanks Fach!

And looking at the page linked in that post, I guess I didn't totally describe it right, but yeah, this is what I was looking for.

Thanks again,

-- Dave
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Old 01-06-2005, 05:08 PM   #15
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So now I have to figure out how to debate back against a slippery slope argument.

Would the antithesis of a slippery slope be a weighted causality?

Advice?

-- Dave
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Old 01-06-2005, 05:11 PM   #16
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That method of thinking is called the Chaos Theory.

ex: If I sit on this desk today, I may weaken it's integrity and years down the road, another student who was destined to be the next great world leader steps on it for support, breaks both legs and is unable to fulfill his education as he would have otherwise been able to.
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Old 01-06-2005, 05:13 PM   #17
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In Psychiatry it commonly referred to as the 3 N's. A "negative" view of themselves, the world, and the future. It is usually seen in someone who is clinically depressed or heading that way!
I would say this person is heading down the wrong path, if they haven't had a depressive episode yet, there is one waiting in the near future.
Anything positive(i.e compliments, favors, etc) will be spun into some sort of self-loathing that somehow it will end badly for said person.
Personally I see it pretty much every day at work and its difficult to deal with a person like this. It's Typically seen in Axis II diagnoses(i.e. personality disorders, etc). Antidepressants, are usually not very helpful in these situations, when used as single handed approach. When used in conjunction with psychotherapy, shaping, behavior modification, the results are profound. It takes a multifaceted approach and each patient respondes differently to certain treatments. It's very individua and takes time to effectively treat someone like this. This is why we frequently see these pt's in the hospital all the time, its like a revolving door and the biggest barrier for these people is that they dont think there is anything wrong with their attitude(personality). They dont view it like we do. They believe it to be socially acceptable, which reinforces their behavior.

Reaction-formation is the classic defense mechanism at work here. They feel one way inside but display the opposite behavior.

Eric
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Old 01-06-2005, 05:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcquaCow
So now I have to figure out how to debate back against a slippery slope argument.


-- Dave
You can't debate with a person who thinks like that. Patterns of thinking can't be changed in swift moment of conversation with a friend. I'd suggest CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy. Only if the person feels its a problem for them and wants to change. Otherwise you're beating your head against the wall.
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Old 01-06-2005, 05:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CandyO
You can't debate with a person who thinks like that. Patterns of thinking can't be changed in swift moment of conversation with a friend. I'd suggest CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy. Only if the person feels its a problem for them and wants to change. Otherwise you're beating your head against the wall.
totally agree. logic is lost on those behaving irrationally.
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Old 01-06-2005, 05:23 PM   #20
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If that person cannot give you evidence into the causality of their slippery slope, their argument is unsound. If you feel up to it, you can provide evidence yourself in contrast to their slippery slope. However, most individuals who find their initial argument appealing will not be easily swayed and in most cases dismiss your retort completely.

Cliff Notes: It is not worth debating fallacious arguments.
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Old 01-06-2005, 05:35 PM   #21
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I wouldn't call that "slippery slope". The following is an example of the slippery slope argument: "If we let gays marry then soon we'll be allowing incestuous marriages too and eventually the whole institution of marriage will become a joke."

I agree with StriderTB. It's defeatist thinking and is a quick way to become depressed.
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Old 01-06-2005, 05:39 PM   #22
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MW had it right btw... the term for this type of thinking is indeed fatalist. I have no idea what the clinical diagnosis is for a person exhibiting it-- probably can vary-- but the thinking can happen to otherwise sane people just depressed or overwhelmed.
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Old 01-06-2005, 05:47 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George71
I wouldn't call that "slippery slope". The following is an example of the slippery slope argument: "If we let gays marry then soon we'll be allowing incestuous marriages too and eventually the whole institution of marriage will become a joke."

I agree with StriderTB. It's defeatist thinking and is a quick way to become depressed.
Your example is exactly like Aquacow's. They both demonstrate irrational causality with a snowball effect. Therefore, the argument is a slippery slope.

And Aquacow was looking for the type of argument, not the description of personality.
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Old 01-06-2005, 08:08 PM   #24
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Yes, I just wanted the type of argument, but I do know someone who always seems to phrase their reasons for not doing something that way...
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Old 01-06-2005, 08:15 PM   #25
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The only way to combat a Slippery Slope fallacy is with Ad Hominems
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