The Visualizer’s Fallacy

In my last post, we explored the widespread assumption that everyone visualizes. Today, let’s delve into a more specific and impactful concept: the Visualizer’s Fallacy.

The Visualizer’s Fallacy, as defined in the insightful work of researcher Christian Scholz, is not just the belief that everyone can visualize. It’s more nuanced and consequential.

This fallacy involves the mistaken belief by visualizers that if they use mental imagery to perform a task, then everyone else must do the same. Consequently, they assume that aphantasics, who do not experience mental imagery, cannot perform these tasks.

This misconception is significant.

It’s not just about the general belief in universal visualization; it’s about underestimating the cognitive abilities of those who don’t visualize.

When aphantasics, like myself, learn about our aphantasia, we may initially internalize this fallacy, doubting our own capabilities in creativity, memory, and other cognitive tasks – despite having effectively engaged in these activities before.

Becoming aware of this fallacy is eye-opening. It reveals the biases and misunderstandings about non-sensoric imagining and thinking. It helps us understand why some aphantasics may face a mini existential crisis upon discovering their aphantasia, fearing that they are somehow cognitively impaired.

This revelation is crucial for both visualizers and aphantasics. It underscores the importance of recognizing and valuing different cognitive styles and abilities.

I encourage you to explore more about the Visualizer’s Fallacy here and reflect on its implications.

Have you observed this fallacy in action? How has it affected your perception of aphantasia?