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Individual differences |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |
A dilemma (Greek: δί-λημμα
"double proposition") is a problem offering two possibilities, neither of which is practically acceptable. One in this position has been traditionally described as "being on the horns of a dilemma", neither horn being comfortable. This is sometimes more colorfully described as "Finding oneself impaled upon the horns of a dilemma", referring to the sharp points of a bull's horns, equally uncomfortable (and dangerous).
The dilemma is sometimes used as a rhetorical device, in the form "you must accept either A, or B"; here A and B would be propositions each leading to some further conclusion. Applied incorrectly, it constitutes a false dichotomy, a fallacy.
Types of dilemmasEdit
Colorful names have been given to many types of dilemmas.
- Double bind: conflicting requirements ensure that the victim will automatically be wrong.
- Ethical dilemma: a choice between moral imperatives.
- Extortion: the choice between paying the extortionist and suffering an unpleasant action.
- Fairness dilemmas: when groups are faced with making decisions about how to share their resources, rewards, or payoffs.
- Hobson's choice: a choice between something and nothing; "take it or leave it".
- Morton's fork: choices yield equivalent, often undesirable, results.
- Prisoner's dilemma: An inability to coordinate makes cooperation difficult and defection tempting.
- Samaritan's dilemma: the choice between providing charity and improving another's condition, and withholding it to prevent them from becoming dependent.
- Sophie's choice: a choice between two persons or things that will result in the death or destruction of the person or thing not chosen.
- Zugzwang: One must move and incur harm when one would prefer to make no move (esp. in chess).
Here is an incomplete list of other particular dilemmas:
- Anxious control dilemma
- Approval vs feelings dilemma
- Approval vs independence dilemma
- Clinging dilemma
- Controlling others dilemma
- Deprivation dilemma
- Dealing with demands and criticism dilemma
- Free riding dilemma
- If involved then smothered dilemma
- If involved then abused dilemma
- If involved then admiring dilemma
- If involved then perfectly caring dilemma
- Not knowing how to act in relationships dilemma
- Perfectionism dilemma
- Responsibility dilemma
- Sabotage or rebellion dilemma
- Self-sufficiency dilemma
- Trust dilemma
- Upset feeling dilemma