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Focalism

 

Explanations > Theories > Focalism

Description | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

When we are experiencing emotions about a current or anticipated event, we tend to think just about that event and forget about the other things that happen.

Focalism thus happens where we tend to assume that our feelings are driven by a single event in current focus and not the complexity of events we experience.

Example

When a mother is asked to imagine how she would feel seven years after the death of her child, she will likely focus exclusively on that tragedy and fail to consider the many other events that will happen over that time period, capture her attention, require her participation, and hence influence her general emotional state.

So What?

Using it

Focus on one thing when persuading and the other person may forget other factors.

Defending

Keep your mind open about the multiple causes of how you feel.

See also

Durability bias, Impact bias

References

Erber and Tesser (1992), Wilson, Wheatley, Meyers, Gilbert and Axsom (2000)

 

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