Disqualification of one pole

The disqualification of one of the poles

The disqualification of one pole is the general cognitive distortion which leads to grant an arbitrary priority in one of the poles of a given duality, in order to qualify the elements of a given reference class. It consists then in the fact of attributing more importance to one of the poles rather than to the other one, in the lack of objective motivation. The taxa corresponding to one of the poles of a given duality are lacking in the patient’s system of taxa. So, the subject sees things only through the prism of pole A (respectively Ā), by ignoring completely the viewpoint of the opposed pole Ā (respectively A).

Formally, the disqualification of one of the poles leads to consider only the Ei such that d[Ei] ≤ (respectivelyd[Ei] ≥ 0), by ignoring any events such thatd[Ei] > 0 (respectivelyd[Ei] < 0).

An instance of the disqualification of one of the poles consists in the disqualification of the positive. The latter can be analysed as a specific instance of the disqualification of one of the poles, which applies to the Positive/Negative duality and to the reference class including the facts and events of the subject’s life. The subject tends then to ignore positive events, by considering that they do not count, for any reason.

Another instance of the disqualification of one pole also applies to the Positive/Negative duality and to the reference class which comprises the character’s traits of the subject. This one completely ignores his/her positive character’s traits (qualities) and only directs his/her attention to his/her negative character’s traits (defects). This encourages then him/her to conclude that he/she “is worth nothing”, that he/she is “a failure”.


Franceschi P., Compléments pour une théorie des distorsions cognitives (in english), Journal de Thérapie Comportementale et Cognitive, 2007, 17, 2, 84-88.


Ambiguous images Arbitrary focus Bistable perception Complementarity relationship Conflict resolution Conflict resolution with matrices of concepts Conflict types relating to matrices of concepts Contrary relationship Dialectical contextualism Dialectical monism Dialectical monism in Aztec philosophy Dialectical monism in Heraclitus Dichotomic analysis Dichotomic analysis applied to paradox resolution Dichotomous reasoning Disqualification of one pole Disqualification of the positive Dualities Dual poles Extreme opposition General cognitive distortions Instance of one-sidedness bias Matrix of concepts Maximization Mental filter Minimization Bistable cognition Omission of the neutral One-sidedness bias One-sided viewpoint Opposition relationship Principle of dialectical indifference Requalification into the other pole Reference class Reference class problem Reference class problem in philosophical paradoxes Reference class problem in the Doomsday argument Reference class problem in Hempel’s paradox Reference class problem in the surprise examination paradox Selective abstraction Specific cognitive distortions System of taxa Two-sided viewpoint Viewpoint of a duality Viewpoint of a pole