Contagent Thinking – Definition

Contagent Thinking is the thought process or rationale that suggests “touching A to B and then touching A to C is like touching B to C” via evidence that is generally logically unsound. The phrase is generally used in a negative context by those who believe they do not use such rationale, such as a person who is at ease with operating a public restroom’s flush handle with their bare hands instead of having to kick it on “like a germaphobe would”. A piece of bread is suddenly inedible after falling onto an employee break-room table, for risk of being contaminated by the hands of any other employees that slept on, sneezed over, or otherwise tainted that table unbeknownst to the bread owner’s arrival — regardless of whether any employee actually did — to the contagent thinker.

In a sense, it is a method for short-cutting research by simply emotionally eliminating all potential for “contamination” by germs as a failsafe method to avoid illness — but is often seen instead as wasteful and potentially more hazardous to prevent the body’s exposure to common sources germs it could easily handle to better prepare itself for future exposures that cannot be predicted.

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