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Thought-Action Fusion

Thought-action fusion (TAF) is a cognitive bias whereby individuals place undue significance and meaning on the presence and/or content of their unpleasant thoughts and believe that their thoughts can influence reality. Most individuals experience unwanted thoughts from time to time, and these thoughts may include violent, blasphemous, sexual, immoral, or repulsive themes (e.g., hitting a pedestrian on purpose while driving a car, dropping an infant to the floor, intentionally leaving the stove on and causing a fire). Unwanted intrusive thoughts are believed to occur in 80% to 90% of the population. In most individuals, these thoughts are dismissed as negligible and unrealistic mental intrusions. However, TAF can worsen the experience of such meaningless intrusions because individuals with this cognitive bias erroneously interpret the presence or ...

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