Assumed similarity bias

Quote from Psychopaths and Love, excerpts and paragraphs [Blue bolding added] (http://psychopathsandlove.com/dangerous-mistake-about-the-psychopathic-mind/):

Do You Make This Simple (But Dangerous) Mistake About the Psychopathic Mind?

“Misinterpreting the behavior of a disordered character is the first step in the process of being victimized by them.” (Dr. George Simon)

. . . Assumed Similarity Bias — a mental shortcut that leads us to the unconscious assumption that others share the same or similar values, thoughts and beliefs. We automatically assume that others are just like we are, especially when it comes to the fundamental aspects of our characters that are so basic we never even give them a second thought — such as having a conscience.  [PW:  let me add additional descriptive terms:  normalcy bias, belief in basic human goodness bias, see-no-evil bias, mom and dad would have told me bias, keep reality within my current frame of reference bias, pound that square peg into that round hole bias, there’s nothing scary here bias, Captain Kangaroo [Mr. Rogers, etc.] never talked about this bias, everything traces back to childhood bias, etc.]

In other words, you never for a moment stop to consider that some people in fact have a drastically different way of being, one that is so foreign to you that you can’t even begin to grasp it.

. . .

“He doesn’t depend on our love because he ‘fears emptiness’… he depends on it because our love enables him to exploit and manipulate us. He doesn’t search for people to ‘cling to,’ he searches for people to VICTIMIZE. Don’t forget, we are dealing with a predator. You are attributing your feelings and motivations to him, when in fact they are not like yours at all. The anger is simply from frustration when he doesn’t get his needs met…They do not share our need for ‘authentic purpose.’ That’s your need, not the need of the psychopath. They have their own purpose, which is vastly different from your purpose.”

. . .

The truth is very difficult to understand from our own frame of reference. It’s important to understand it, though, because it is their significant differences that cause the harm we experience.

. . .

When we experience someone engaging in bad behavior of one kind or another, we think of it in terms of why WE might act that way and how WE would feel afterward. When we do this, we come up with the idea that the behavior may stem from insecurity, past wounds, fear, or a lack of love; and we imagine they must feel shame and guilt after treating us so badly. Because of this, we are more apt to forgive, to let things slide, to stick it out and see if things will change with love and acceptance and time.

But when the same things happen again and again, it comes time to face an important truth:

The only intelligent way to make judgements about people is to base those judgements on their patterns of behavior, and not on what we think the reasons for their behavior might be.

. . .

Unfortunately, traditional psychology still hangs on to the outdated belief that everyone is struggling with insecurities and fears, and teaches that this struggle is what causes problem behavior. This puts us at a disadvantage and leaves us vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. And it seems to say that the field of psychology itself is operating under its own ‘assumed similarity’ bias! 

. . .

It’s very difficult to understand how the psychopathic mind works because it is so totally different from what we know. I think it’s made even harder because we don’t want to believe it’s possible, and we don’t want to accept that the person we were with was not at all who or what we thought they were, and that nothing we believed about the relationship was true… and that it wasn’t even a relationship at all.  . . .  (http://psychopathsandlove.com/dangerous-mistake-about-the-psychopathic-mind/)

2 thoughts on “Assumed similarity bias

  1. Yes, it’s a great explanation, I can’t claim credit, except for the blue bolding, but I’m glad I found it.

    Similarity bias is a great phrase. There are other elements to it also. The bias is anxiety reducing and helps keeps the world as small as the individual’s understanding.

  2. Excellent explanation. There are so many folks who are psychopaths who are looking for victims to insult and harm. Your insights are very helpful to be able to recognize that. THANK YOU!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s