Michael On Everything Else

On Trigger Warnings, Safe Spaces

...we found that cognitive distortions and safetyism-inspired beliefs were positively correlated in a large, economically and ethnically diverse, public university sample. The association between cognitive distortions and safetyism-inspired beliefs remained significant when accounting for other relevant psy- chological and demographic variables, like resiliency and analytic thinking. Furthermore, this study revealed that cognitive distortions were a robust predictor of students’ belief that words can harm and the number of reasons they selected for endorsing the use of trigger warn- ings.


Common cognitive distortions include catastrophizing (perceiving a mildly negative event as a disaster), all-or-nothing thinking (viewing things as either-or, rather than perceiving nuance), and emotional reasoning (believing that one’s feelings accurately represent reality).

(Celniker et al., 2022)

And from one of the books I’m reading now:

The sin of egotism always takes the form of withdrawal. When personal advantage becomes paramount, the individual passes out of the community.


But he who is cognizant mainly of self suffers an actual derangement; as Plato saw: “the excessive love of self is in reality the source to each man of all offenses; for the lover is blinded about the beloved, so that he judges wrongly of the just, the good, and the honorable, and thinks that he ought always prefer his own interest to the truth.”

(Weaver, 2013)

  1. Celniker, J. B., Ringel, M. M., Nelson, K., & Ditto, P. H. (2022). Correlates of “Coddling”: Cognitive distortions predict safetyism-inspired beliefs, belief that words can harm, and trigger warning endorsement in college students. Pers. Individ. Dif., 185(111243), 111243.
  2. Weaver, R. M. (2013). Ideas Have Consequences. University of Chicago Press.