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What is "Cognitive Dissonance"?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Heyo, Jun 26, 2022.

  1. Heyo

    Heyo Veteran Member

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    Since I have noticed twice in a short period of time the term used and in my opinion wrong, let's discuss it here.

    The short answer to the titular question is:

    "According to this theory, when two actions or ideas are not psychologically consistent with each other, people do all in their power to change them until they become consistent.[1][2] The discomfort is triggered by the person's belief clashing with new information perceived, wherein the individual tries to find a way to resolve the contradiction to reduce their discomfort." - Cognitive dissonance - Wikipedia

    My interpretation of that is, if a person doesn't feel discomfort over a contradiction, they don't suffer from cognitive dissonance.
    Some people don't have the mental capacity to recognize the contradiction.
    Some people just don't feel the need to solve a paradox when it doesn't influence their lives.
    Some people are just hypocrites and don't mind.

    How do you understand "cognitive dissonance"?
    Have you used it wrong in the past and reading the actual definition gives you cognitive dissonance?
     
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  2. rational experiences

    rational experiences Well-Known Member

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    If a human says there is only one human truth.

    Its highest form human health body type personality balanced.

    Not expressing any contradiction.

    We don't own that human taught genesis medical status anymore as it was contradicted already. Told we lost origin human held parent DNA.

    Advising of the contradiction is past.

    To be a balanced personality now is only by self recognition. Told the truth we aren't living balanced.

    Then you try to achieve least negative of the contradictions.

    Seeing we were taught the cognitive dissonance is fighting the advice by personality. Not by being advised.
     
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  3. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    Echo chambers do contribute to that.
    Milieus where a person learns not to doubt certainties because their members all agree they are the truth.

    That is why there are the so called Techniques of neutralization - Wikipedia which enable people to get rid of those dogmas that prevent them from getting out of the cognitive dissonance, they are totally unaware of.
     
    #3 Estro Felino, Jun 26, 2022
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2022
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  4. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Leaderless Animal

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    As per the definition you quoted. I have a vague memory of it from doing psychology and it sounds about right. I can't recall using the term, but yes if you have no awareness of an apparent dissonance then, er, you have no dissonance. :)
     
    #4 Secret Chief, Jun 26, 2022
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  5. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    Some of us are comfortable with acknowledging that paradox and apparent contradiction are fundamental characteristics of our existence. To recognise reality as a web of illusion is one thing, to deny it another. Trying to bend reality to our will, is bound to lead to dissonance. Questioning it's nature and doubting it's substance, is essential to any sort of spiritual growth.
     
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  6. blü 2

    blü 2 Veteran Member
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    I tend to agree that 'cognitive dissonance' refers to a problem rather than simply a situation.

    Cognitive dissonance can be a problem where it stresses the subject even though the subject is not consciously aware of the dissonance. Thus bringing it into the conscious mind is an important part of addressing the problem. This may raise other problems, since the continuance of the dissonance puts off facing the conflict there. (One common field was someone having a Nazi ancestor to whom crimes have been attributed.)
     
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  7. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Good initial explanation, Heyo.
    Cognitive dissonance is the dissonance experienced from trying to hold two contradictory beliefs simultaneously.
     
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  8. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    My Master says: "Your thoughts, words and deed should be one"

    Then you never have a problem with "cognitive dissonance"
     
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  9. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    One (usually) cannot consciously hold 2 contradictory ideas and when this happens they experience mental discomfort (dissonance).

    When presented with information that causes this problem they need to resolve this dissonance (once comprehended we must act on the information).

    This can be done by:
    a) revise existing belief in accordance with new information
    b) harmonise the 2 beliefs
    c) reject the new information

    By far the most likely to happen is c), which is why you see people on RF and elsewhere simply finding any reason to out of hand reject ideologically unpalatable information

    People who do not perceive a contradiction don't suffer dissonance.

    People who don't feel discomfort after experiencing dissonance have harmonised the beliefs (processed them in a manner that removes the dissonance) .
     
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  10. Heyo

    Heyo Veteran Member

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    d) recognize that there is a contradiction that can't be solved at the time and don't fret about it.
    I'm aware that relativity and quantum physics contradict each other. I don't have an explanation for it but I'm also not phased by it. Physicists may resolve the contradiction eventually.
     
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  11. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    I've seen the term used rather frequently, although perhaps there are times when it's used incorrectly or in the wrong context. I suppose some of it can be attributable to living in a contradictory world where people often say one thing and mean something different. "Do as I say, not as I do" and "rules for thee but not for me" are common tropes in our society. We live in a world of doublespeak, weasel words, legalese, and fine print - all the while scratching our heads and wondering why so much of the public seems confused and mixed up.
     
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  12. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Two people can legitimately hold to contradictory ideas.
    Why can't I?
     
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  13. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    That's a form of b) harmonise the beliefs
     
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  14. Hermit Philosopher

    Hermit Philosopher Selflessly here for you

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    CDT is a theory by social psychologist Festinger, about how we tend to deal with internal conflict between our own opinions, attitudes and behaviour.

    It says that we tend to want to act in alignment with our views and emotions, but that in situations where we cannot do so (because of duty or force, for instance) we may change our views and emotions to align with our actions instead.


    Example

    Opinion: You believe in the human right to seek asylum from persecution and in the joint, global duty to offer and fairly try any such applications.

    Attitude: You feel appalled and ashamed that your government has found a way to stop persecuted people from reaching your country and being able to seek asylum there.

    Behaviour: You start supporting voluntarily orgs. that are fighting the strategies your government is putting in place to prevent refugees from reaching your shores.

    So far, so good. No cognitive dissonance.

    But one day, it becomes illegal to support the orgs. that you’ve been donating to and you are heavily fined for having done so.
    Also, a new law has just been passed, forcing you to inform on others who may, or may not, be trying to influence the strategies in question.

    CDT says that if you in above scenario, had to inform on people too many times, there’d be a tendency for you to a) convince yourself that there is no joint, global duty to offer people asylum from persecution and that your country is doing nothing wrong when letting the rest of the world deal with the refugee question instead + b) eventually replace your sense of shame over informing on people, with a sense of pride over assisting your government.

    That’s how we tend to avoid or solve cognitive dissonance, according to Festinger.


    Humbly
    Hermit
     
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  15. Alien826

    Alien826 Older than dirt

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    I find the mental gymnastics people use to harmonize conflicting information to be the most interesting aspect of this. Here's an example.

    Some time ago I was talking to a very "conservative" lady about the "weapons of mass destruction" hoax in Iraq. She stated that the weapons had been there, but they had been secretly moved across the border into Syria, and she based her information on being told by "someone who served in Iraq". My response was that if such a thing had happened, the Bush Administration would have been very public about asserting it, as they were getting a lot of stick about no WMDs having been found. Her response was along the lines of "So you know more about than people who were actually there?". No further argument would shift her.

    People will believe the most unlikely explanations in order to remove the "dissonance".
     
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