Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How should I interpret the expression "exclusive thinking"?

The expression "exclusive thinking" is one I've seen in criticism against some views or opinions that are called "exclusive thinking".

Is "exclusive thinking" like a "cognitive bias" or a bias, does it depend or context, has a certain connotation depending on the speaker as it seems it is refered to both as negative and positive depending on context.

This expression has also been translated literally to my native locale (.se "exklusivt tänkande") where it is basically solely used to criticise views and opinons that are referred to as "exclusive thinking".

Does it mean to take something out and focus only on that thing and everything else is irrelevant? If so, then isn't it the same as a "selection bias"?

Update

The closest wording I can remember (inexact) that preserves the larger meaning of what was said is close to

Religious fundamentalism is exclusive thinking and exclusive thinking should be avoided.

share|improve this question
1  
Include a couple of complete sentences containing the phrase. That is, edit the question and add two examples, inset as > quotes. –  jwpat7 Feb 28 '13 at 15:10
    
@jwpat7 Thank you for the response. It's not an exact sentence but what was said was approximately "Religious fundamentalism is exclusive thinking and exclusive thinking should be avoided." –  909 Niklas Feb 28 '13 at 15:17

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Based on your example, I think you can interpret it from the literal meaning of the words.

"Exclusive" adjective 1. not admitting of something else; incompatible: mutually exclusive plans of action. 2. omitting from consideration or account dictionary.com

There is also the definition in logic, where two alternatives cannot be both true.

Your example seems to state that religious fundamentalist thinking does not allow for ideas, opinions, or thought that is inconsistent with its own principles.

share|improve this answer

In the context of the update to the question, “exclusive thinking” appears to refer to thinking that a priori excludes competing viewpoints; that is, that is unwilling to grant, even for the sake of discussion, that competing points of view have any merit.

Depending on the subject, some narrow range of viewpoints might be admitted to the discussion, with some broader range excluded from the outset.

Does it mean to take something out and focus only on that thing and everything else is irrelevant? If so, then isn't it the same as a “selection bias”?

In some contexts, “exclusive thinking” might well entail focussing on a single topic, but that isn't the meaning in the “fundamentalism” example. Selection bias is a different issue:

Selection bias is a statistical bias in which there is an error in choosing the individuals or groups to take part in a scientific study. It is sometimes referred to as the selection effect. The term "selection bias" most often refers to the distortion of a statistical analysis, resulting from the method of collecting samples. If the selection bias is not taken into account then certain conclusions drawn may be wrong.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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