Why is rationalization dangerous


rationalization, the subsequent sham justification, e.g. of failures, symptom actions and the results of defense mechanisms, such as repression, denial, projection. Albeit very often, the justification of a certain action with pseudo-justifications is not always immediately recognizable as a rationalization, especially when these are embedded in socio-cultural world views and ideologies. For example, if someone justifies the purchase of a high-horsepower car on the grounds that driving is less dangerous because you can accelerate faster when overtaking on country roads, the extent of the pseudo-justification can only be determined if you know the person concerned very well.
Psychoanalysis saw itself primarily in the context of the archaeological and detectiveist understanding preferred by Freud as a method of uncovering self-delusions of the individual, but also collective pseudo-justifications based on shared opinions, value systems and religious convictions. Here (classical) psychoanalysis has a lot in common with the unmasking psychology of Friedrich Nietzsche and with criticism of ideology.
In view of accusations about the fallible power of interpretation of psychoanalysis, the knowledge that psychoanalysts also transfer to their patients and the growing understanding of how complex and error-prone diagnostic assessment processes can be, some psychoanalysts, e.g. the self-psychological direction, plead for the disclosure and deciphering of To put aside pseudo-justifications in contemporary psychoanalysis in favor of a maternal analytical approach based on phenomenological evidence.
A differentiated explication of the reasons for actions and the possibilities of self-deception contained therein has to take place on the basis of various inference procedures such as the causal-deductive inference, the practical syllogism and the abductive inference. In the socio-psychological research on depression (depression) one speaks of a depressive realism; This means that subjects who assess themselves, their actions and world events as being more depressed have a higher degree of accuracy of reality at their disposal. Truthfulness i.S. Less self-deception and less rationalization in one's own justification for action is positively correlated with depression.


Koerner, L. (1985). From explaining to understanding in psychoanalysis. Investigations on the psychoanalytic method. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Medical Psychology Publishing House.