Overcoming Egocentric Thinking

Are you Egocentric? How do you find out if you are?
If you have not already done so, you should also take the "Egocentricity Quiz."

Read or reread the following essays. Be brutally honest with yourself, and ask about each point, "Do I do this?"

If YOU are egocentric, what can you do?
First, you must recognize that this is the way you think. That is the hardest part. An egocentric person usually believes s/he is fine, and has no problem. It is therefore necessary that the person learn about the style. S/he must be brutally honest with her/his self, examining thinking to see if s/he holds or practices any of the attitudes defined in the above papers and quiz.
Second, you must realize that it is fixable! It isn't really hard to fix, but it will take time.
Third, the person needs to decide s/he wants to change thinking styles. This is setting a new Life-Goal. - - - Do you really want to be the very BEST you can be?

Fourth, the person needs to have a willingness (and make the effort) to remember occasions when he was wrong in the past despite an intense belief that he was right, and the ability to imagine his being similarly deceived in a case-at-hand.

Fifth: In order to change from the habit of egocentric thinking, there needs to be something to change to. The person should read these essays:
Thoughts About Knowing
I Nevar make mistaks!
How does One Handle Negative Criticism?
Hypotheses & Theories
The Self-Confident Thinker
http://home.earthlink.net/~bmgei/educate/docs/aperson/thinking/thinksty.htm#The Self-Confident Thinker
Life-Rules about Where Truth Is (the right hand side of the table)

These essays provide some basic goals for creating a new and better thinking style. Pay particular attention, and spend considerable time on "Life-Rules about Where Truth Is." Study it. Look at the two columns, and note the contrast and difference between them. Work to understand the truth and wisdom expressed in the right-hand column. Work hard to understand and then use that column as a new set of life rules.

As a minimum, read these three very short essays. These three "Dimensions of Critical Thought" will provide a very good start, and may be sufficient.


Sixth, install a Self-Monitor in your mind. (http://home.earthlink.net/~bmgei/educate/docs/aperson/thinking/monitor.htm) (Also known in psychology and psychiatry as a "Dispassionate Observer.") Instruct it to monitor you to detect egocentric thinking, and to alert you if it sees you doing it.

Seventh, ask people you trust to also monitor you, and give you gentle feedback if they think you are using egocentric thinking. These could be parents, other family members, or teachers.

Eighth, don't make a halfhearted effort, and don't give up. Reread the essays over and over again. As you make improvements, you will gain more insight, and the rereading will result in making more sense of the essays, and accelerate your progress.

Additional Reading - Links to advanced web sites on thinking.

For the really serious student, parent, or teacher, here are some major resources. Do not expect to read, digest, and apply this knowledge in a short time. There is enough material to keep you steadily advancing over several years! (If you work at it!) If you do, it will be of VERY GREAT BENEFIT to you. You can't now know how much good it can do for you!
I have been down this road. I now automatically use Critical Thinking in everything I work on. It has been a TREMENDOUS advantage to me!
It is instructive to go to the web page
and study it.
For a definition of Egocentric thinking from a real expert in the field, go to:
For more than what is provided by the "three very short essays" linked to above, read, understand, and apply "Strategy List: 35 Dimensions of Critical Thought," found at: http://criticalthinking.org/K12/k12class/strat/stratall.html
This is a lot of very good information. It will help you replace egocentric thinking with true critical thinking. They are part of a teacher's college web site, whose home page is:

http://criticalthinking.org There are lots of resources here for teachers or others with a deep interest in critical thinking.

The Center for Critical Thinking is located at:
Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, CA

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