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Why do we love to hate ourselves?
  1. Robert L Wears
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robert L Wears, Department of Emergency Medicine/CSRU, University of Florida/Imperial College London, UF Health Science Center, 655 West 8th Street, Jacksonville, FL 32209, USA; wears{at}

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Dhaliwal's comment1 on Zwaan et al 2 nicely refutes what has been called ‘the hypothesis of special cause’3—the notion that when things turn out wrong, the cognitive processes leading to that outcome must have been fundamentally different (ie, error-prone) from when they turn out right. Dhaliwal's argument recapitulates thinking that is over 100 years old; one of the early contributors to psychology, Ernst Mach,4 wrote (in 1905): ‘Knowledge and error flow from the same mental source; only success can tell one from the other’.

What is interesting here is not that the hypothesis of special …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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