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Rumpelstiltskin phenomenon


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The tendency for the naming of something to create the impression of imparting an understanding of it. It applies, for example, to the naming of mental disorders: a person who tells implausible lies may be said to be suffering from pseudologia fantastica, but that term is nothing more than a name for implausible lying, and any impression that it imparts an understanding of the phenomenon is a cognitive illusion. [Named after Rumpelstiltskin in a famous fairly tale, called Rumpelstilzchen in the German version collected by the brothers Grimm, a strange dwarf who exerts a baleful influence over a miller's daughter until she eventually gains power over him by learning his name]

Subjects: Psychology.


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