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  1. #11
    Senior Member Ilah's Avatar
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    In my mind there are different types of cognative dissonance.

    The two examples in the post are both examples of values v. logic. Or F v. T.

    It is also possible to have values v. values dissonance. To merge your two examples: Say you believe strongly in gay rights, but you also believe strongly in your faith (as defined by your church) and your church says being gay is a sin. Which value do you go with?

    Another type is logic v. logic. There are studies that say soy is great for our health and we should eat more of it. There are studies that say soy is bad and we should not eat it at all. Both arguments are presented logically and have scientific studies, which one do you choose?

    The first type, in my mind is hardest because it forces you to choose between values and logic. Strong T/weak F would just abandon "illogical" values. Example: athiests who gave up their faith because it was not logical. Strong F/weak T would just ignore any logic or scientific evedence that contradicted their faith. This seems common in fundamentalist Christians. If your T and F are reasonably close, then you would work with the situation, adjusting values or logic or both till they fit. You might try out many different adjustments searching for something that is acceptable to you. It may be possible that you cannot make them both fit and have to give up one, but it is more of a last resort.

    The second type can be a very angst ridden choice but it is more straighforward. Which of the two do you value the highest. You keep the one you value highest. The other one you either get rid or modify. In the above example, you might switch to a more liberal church, modifying your beliefs, but not abandoning them altogther.

    The choice between two types of logic is not as emotional as a values choice. It can still be very distressing though, since unlike values, there is an expectation that truth is objective and therefor logical things should be compatible. Both agreements would be looked at logically and objectively to see which one is more likely to be true. There is more of a tendancy to completely reject one agrument than adjust them to accomidate both, although sometimes you can find something that works. For example you might conclude soy is good up to a certain amount, but bad in extreme high levels.

  2. #12
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    ... it takes much more faith to trust in and serve God despite not being healed.


    That's what I believe too.

    ...Horrible things sometimes happen to wonderful people and sometimes wonderful things happen to horrible people. ...
    My 13-year-old and I talked for some time over the weekend about abortion and capital punishment and religious beliefs trying to be implemented as law in our country, and that was one of the things I told him.... that essentially bad things still happen to good people and vice versa.

    I could see him wrestling with that.
    He has not had the experience yet, he's young.
    But he will.

    How does it get resolved in one's mind?
    Can it be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Didums View Post
    The human brain is rather inflexible once one's views are set in stone. People have some sort of irrational negative view of Change. For some reason, staying the same in one's ways has some sort of positive result in their brains, it doesn't want to have to radically change its wiring.
    So you're saying it could have a neurological basis -- that some people simply do not form new connections/patterns neurologically in their brain / lay them down as quickly as others, or perhaps the process is not as psychologically painful (or perhaps there is a neurotransmitter REWARD for laying down new configurations or changing configurations for these people)? So that's why some persist and others do not? There could be physical reasons that drive the emotional ones?

    (Rather like basic assembly code speaking straight to the hardware versus a high-level language like VB that operates on an abstracted level from the actual hardware, the latter being a frame that equates to a purely psychological explanation?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    Here's one I deal with:
    I like to believe that everyone has positive intentions. . .
    Did you say that for a good reason?

    In any case, how do you determine when someone's intentions are not positive?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #13
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Various strategies can be associated with cognitive dissonance.

    One such strategy is hostility, where the anxiety/tension of being faced with contradictory thoughts is displaced on someone else who can then be "destroyed" and thus in a way destroying one of the dichotomous ideas.

    This has happened with race relations (if the black person is attacked and/or destroyed, then they are no longer around to provide tangible evidence of that race being equal to white people).

    Same thing with homosexuals and the "gay bashing" phenomena, preemptively or post. Displacing anger on the target group prevents any sort of relationship from occurring where the cognitive dissonance comes into play, potentially forcing a change. (Otherwise known as, "Hey, I know a gay person, and they're actually just like me! Now what do I do?") To protect the original idea from being challenged, the communication/relationship is circumvented up front.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #14
    Senior Member Ilah's Avatar
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    I changed my spiritual beliefs at around age 30. It was a really difficult, traumatic, angst ridden process.

    On the other hand, I heard of people who have mid life religious converstions and potray the process very angst free - no doubts, no uncertainties, very comfortable with their new life, etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    So you're saying it could have a neurological basis -- that some people simply do not form new connections/patterns neurologically in their brain / lay them down as quickly as others, or perhaps the process is not as psychologically painful (or perhaps there is a neurotransmitter REWARD for laying down new configurations or changing configurations for these people)? So that's why some persist and others do not? There could be physical reasons that drive the emotional ones?

    (Rather like basic assembly code speaking straight to the hardware versus a high-level language like VB that operates on an abstracted level from the actual hardware, the latter being a frame that equates to a purely psychological explanation?)

  5. #15
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    ...In any case, how do you determine when someone's intentions are not positive?
    Thanks for asking, Jennifer. After posting, I thought it was interesting that that was the first thought about cognitive disonance which came to mind as I read. Perhaps no coincidence?

    The answer to your question is that I cannot always determine that.

    I like to believe, say in the case of child abuse, that parents are trying to do the best they can to raise a well-adjusted child, but they don't have the tools.

    This gives me comfort because my homelife was wretched at times and it made it easier for me to heal from some of the things that happened to believe that my parents were doing the best they could.

    Then I may read of an incident so diabolically sadistic that it shakes my belief that all are trying to do their best. But I still want to hang on to my generosity of spirit so there I sit wondering what to do with that clash between what I want to believe and what seems obviously opposite.

    It's an existential dilemma. The ancient good/evil dichotomy. I prefer to use the words health and dis-ease.

    Since I see that cafe reads the Bible, which I also do on occasion, I will borrow from it the best answer to your question I can manage. I often cannot tell what someone's intentions are but "by their fruits you will know them." Matthew 7:16

    I equate health with growth/internal order and disease with decay/internal and external chaos. So it's often after the fact that I can determine what is positive and what is negative. What consistently follows in the path of a person?

    And, drat. Thinking as I type, you have truly created for me a question which throws me into cognitive disonance!

    Perhaps the word "intention" is the hang-up. Because good intentions don't always produce good results.

    I'm going to have to think further on this before I say more. Because I surely don't believe that mistakes are evil.

    I do think it is in observation of a personal pattern than I determine what a person's intentions are.

    __________________________________________________ __________

    You say that one response to cognitive dissonance is hostility. May I swat you now?
    Last edited by Bellflower; 08-27-2008 at 10:38 AM. Reason: spelling
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  6. #16
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Various strategies can be associated with cognitive dissonance.

    One such strategy is hostility, where the anxiety/tension of being faced with contradictory thoughts is displaced on someone else who can then be "destroyed" and thus in a way destroying one of the dichotomous ideas.
    Reducing cognitive dissonance might be a side effect of destroying the person (and destroying the evidence of contradiction) but really, I don't think that's why people do battle with each other. They fight because they're territorial and afraid of what will happen to them if they let their guard down.

  7. #17
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Default Astrology, Astronomers and Cognitive Dissonance

    No astronomer believes in astrology.

    All astronomers know that astrology is untrue.

    Yet hundreds of millions look up their horoscope every day.

    This is a perfect example of cognitive dissonance.

    Or is it?

    In fact the hundreds of millions do not experience cognitive dissonance.

    Cognitive dissonance is painful, while reading your horoscope is pleasurable.

    How can this possibly be explained?

    Easy - cognitive dissonance is not experienced when the cognitive faculties are asleep.

    And the cognitive faculties are asleep when you are in a trance.

    So those who believe in astrology are in a trance.

    And even an astronomer can't wake them up.

  8. #18
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    No astronomer believes in astrology.

    All astronomers know that astrology is untrue.

    Yet hundreds of millions look up their horoscope every day.

    This is a perfect example of cognitive dissonance.

    Or is it?
    Is it even true?

    In fact the hundreds of millions do not experience cognitive dissonance.

    Cognitive dissonance is painful, while reading your horoscope is pleasurable.

    How can this possibly be explained?

    Easy - cognitive dissonance is not experienced when the cognitive faculties are asleep.

    And the cognitive faculties are asleep when you are in a trance.

    So those who believe in astrology are in a trance.
    I don't believe in astrology either, but your conclusion doesn't follow from your premises, and if you think it does, then I'd like to see how, from those premises.

    Second, what you're saying is still problematic, because even if what you're saying is true, the astronomers would "wake up" from their trace when they were not thinking about astrology. At that point, assuming they still believed in astrology, they would experience cognitive dissonance. The alternative, which is interesting, is that when they're back to work, they don't hold astrology in the same regard. It raises the possibility/theory that ideas are maintained in relation to their environment, in other words, when I'm at work, I stop believing in this and believe strongly in that, and when I leave work, I suspend belief in that and embrace this. That actually makes some sense to me.

  9. #19
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    In fact the hundreds of millions do not experience cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is painful, while reading your horoscope is pleasurable.
    I'm not sure that everyone reads horoscopes because they actually believe tangibly it's true.

    What seems to occur is that people use their daily read more as a focal point -- an arbitrary angle by which to view the world for that day, much as someone else would read a Bible passage or an inspirational quote.

    So when I pick a fortune at random here from my little wall mount (let's say, "He who seeks will find"), that thought is now consciously in my mind until my next horoscope, and today I will look at the world in terms of seeking and finding. Tomorrow I will focus on something else. It's not an actual prediction to be potentially falsified or not, it's just a way of seeing the world for a time.

    Now I will qualify what I just said -- it's probably not that clear-cut, most people seem to be a mix of both the practical that I just described as well as wishful (sort of like when you play the lottery and HOPE that you'll win, although you know damn well you are not going to... yet you trick yourself consciously into doing it just because you want to). Horoscopes seem to be similar -- there's still a little hope that the fortune you got will come true, even if you know it's not going to happen... because it makes you feel like something good can happen to you even if it's unlikely, and there's some purpose to things.

    So I don't tend to see horoscopes in terms of cognitive dissonance, except for the rabid astrologers who, like those who believe in UFOs, or some sort of inevitable "wait on the mountain top" second coming of a religion figure, have their expectations publicly and severely dashed and now have to deal with the incongruity.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Reducing cognitive dissonance might be a side effect of destroying the person (and destroying the evidence of contradiction) but really, I don't think that's why people do battle with each other. They fight because they're territorial and afraid of what will happen to them if they let their guard down.
    You're right in that what you suggest is probably of more direct import -- pure survival and wanting to avoid harm. What I described is just layered into it.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #20
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilah View Post
    I changed my spiritual beliefs at around age 30. It was a really difficult, traumatic, angst ridden process.
    So why did you feel your spiritual beliefs had to change? (If you want to talk about it.)

    If it was painful, you must have felt like you had good reason to make that modification in order for you to proceed.

    On the other hand, I heard of people who have mid life religious conversions and portray the process very angst free - no doubts, no uncertainties, very comfortable with their new life, etc.
    Some of them seem to be more impulsive, but I've heard of others who just flipped like a switch. I wonder what happened internally. Was there really dissonance there? Or what is more like an expansion of what they already believed at some level, and the religious thought merely fleshed it out or added to it in some way?

    (I think that happens, where people run into a religion or see an old religion in a new way that they immediately recognize as an extension/expansion/clarification of what they already believe... so there is nothing to change and it's like "going home.")
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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