• "If you've guessed what I am thinking (that you do / you have done / you will do / you are), then what I'm thinking of you is True"

Is this considered a cognitive-bias ? And if not what is it ?

Without enough knowledge in Psychology, I tend to think it is close to something like "dementia" / "paranoia" / "psychosis"

Any pointers ?

EDIT: it could be rephrased as

What about the phenomenon of: believing one's assumption is true, when the interlocutor does guess the assumed assumption

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm not really understanding the construct. Maybe an example would help? $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Jan 9 at 23:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Please bear in mind that a figure of speech should not be taken as a sign of mental illness. Complex tests are involved in determining mental state. If your question is about the appropriateness of a particular behaviour and how to approach doing something about it, then we've an Interpersonal Skills site which might be of interest to you. There is also The Workplace for issues regarding professional relationships with colleagues. $\endgroup$ Jan 10 at 2:23

2 Answers 2


It sounds like you’re talking about confirmation bias. This is when someone seeks out — or in this case interprets —evidence in a way that “confirms” for them what they already believe to be true. I would avoid ascribing this to pathology (such as dementia or psychosis) as these are clinical terms that refer to specific states or disorders, whereas all humans are subject to confirmation bias; it can certainly be annoying when someone behaves this way but usually it is not pathological. Cognitive biases which act as development or maintenance factors for a disorder are usually referred to as cognitive distortions. I would suggest maybe adding an example next time as the scenario you’ve posed is a bit convoluted. Hope this helps!

  • $\begingroup$ I think if I had put examples it would have become too much correlated to the examples. Your answer is inspiring because it is general. And you address my main concern: is it obviously pathological? It's interesting how the confirmation bias can be disguised. $\endgroup$ Jan 13 at 9:04

Strictly speaking by the definition of cognitive bias, yes. They make their own subjective reality without reason. "I think you are X, therefore you are X" isn't rational because there is no evidence that suggests that what you think is the objective reality. The person could be X, or Y, or Z, or U, there is nothing said about why, just that you think that its whats happening. You see this in real life with political and religious dogma.

As for whether it counts as a psychoses or some sort of illness, not at least to the current criteria in the DSM-5 and ICD-11. A delusion is a false belief that cannot be shaken no matter how much evidence you put in front of them. It is usually present throughout the persons psychotic episodes and is a thought disorder.

While this can be present in a delusion "I think you are a poisoner who is sent here to kill me, therefore you are a poisoner sent here to kill me" it's not by itself psychoses. Each case must be carefully analyzed by a psychiatrist to see whether it is just a case of the cognitive biases that engage us in daily life, or if it's a legitimate concern.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm gonna explore on the internet, but what would be your description of DSM-5 and ICD-11. Their purpose, results and cons/pros/features/defect ? You could comment or edit your original answer so as to add info about those two (at the bottom maybe, as it is not totally in relation to the question). $\endgroup$ Jan 10 at 3:21
  • $\begingroup$ @StephaneRolland If you have additional questions, then please post new ones - comments are for feedback and clarifications. $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Jan 10 at 4:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Shaire Please provide sources for unsubstantiated claims in the answer. $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Jan 10 at 4:36
  • $\begingroup$ "I think you are X, therefore you are X" may be a cognitive bias, but if they were to say ""based on the evidence I think you are guilty" then there is no cognitive bias, unless there is a confirmation bias in play. As well as answering the request by @ArnonWeinberg for citations, in the edit, can you please elaborate on what you mean by this claim? $\endgroup$ Jan 10 at 14:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @StephaneRolland The ICD-11 is public to all, and the DSM-5 is available on a website that I cant say, although you could say it is the genesis of knowledge. As for what causes a "concern" for a professional, it differs from each to each. The ICD-11 and DSM-5 are meant to signify signs that further investigation should be pursued, or to confirm an analysis. $\endgroup$
    – Shaire
    Jan 11 at 0:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.