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What is Generalisation?

Generalization is the process by which elements or pieces of a person's model become detached from their original experience and come to represent the entire category of which the experience is an example. For example, a small child learns that things have 'handles' which enable them to be held, moved, opened and manipulated in some way. For example, a cup has a handle; a door has a handle; a key can be thought of as a handle; a bag has a handle; a knife and fork are handles which give you a tool to cut and hold. A tap is a handle to open and close water flow; an 'on off' switch is a handle; a remote control device for a television has a number of handles called 'buttons', and so on.

Generalisations can work for or against you. For example, having one bad experience with a member of one religion does not mean that all the people who share that religion are the same. In one context it may not be okay to use certain types of words but that does not necessarily mean that it is not okay in other contexts. Having one bad experience with a woman does not mean all women are the same, yet when people create these types of generalisations it may limit rather than enhance their lives.

Types of Generalisations include - Universal Quantifiers, Modal Operators (possibility and Necessity)

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