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  1. #1
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default Cognitive Dissonance

    Cognitive dissonance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Let's discuss cognitive dissonance.

    It's an idea that crystalized for me over much of the past year, I find it a fascinating topic.

    In psychology, cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling or stress caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a fundamental cognitive drive to reduce this dissonance by modifying an existing belief, or rejecting one of the contradictory ideas...
    Lots of examples abound. An easy example:

    A person believes that God will heal a loved one's sickness.
    God doesn't.

    Now hard questions are raised.
    Is God loving?
    Is God powerful?
    Why didn't God do what they thought he would do?

    Maybe one's concept of God was wrong.
    But it can't be.
    If the concept was wrong, then a lot of things would have to be rethought.

    Therefore, there is temptation to come up with other reasons to resolve the difficulty so that the person won't have to change their thinking, and the dichotomy over "God wants to heal my friend" vs "God let my friend die" can be resolved with the least amount of stress and ambiguity.

    So....
    Maybe the friend sinned and thus was being punished.
    Maybe people just didn't have enough faith or God would have pulled through.
    Maybe God had some special plan that is even better in the long run than the friend's survival.
    Lots of "reasons" are generated so that the original premises/opinion of God and what he should do doesn't have to change.

    Or maybe someone thinks that gay marriages are bad for kids and "turns kids gay."
    Then studies show the opposite. (Not saying they do, just saying, "What if the CW is wrong?")
    Does the opinion change?
    Or is it easier to generate reasons that can explain away the study without reconsidering the opinion?
    (Perhaps the study was fradulent. Or it was run by gay people, so it must be biased. Or the families in question had other factors making them good. Or... whatever?)


    So what is it in people (what psychological constructs exist) that drives these resolutions of cognitive dissonace?

    What is feared here? What is trying to be avoided by the convolutions of thought?

    Why is it hard to allow one's worldview to shift... or to embrace ambiguity?

    Who pays the expense of the unwillingness to change?

    I don't even have a particular idea in mind in terms of direction of the conversation, I'm just curious to see what others have to say about the topic and how it plays out in daily life and common society.
    "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

  2. #2
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Cognitive dissonance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Let's discuss cognitive dissonance.

    It's an idea that crystalized for me over much of the past year, I find it a fascinating topic.



    Lots of examples abound. An easy example:

    A person believes that God will heal a loved one's sickness.
    God doesn't.

    Now hard questions are raised.
    Is God loving?
    Is God powerful?
    Why didn't God do what they thought he would do?

    Maybe one's concept of God was wrong.
    But it can't be.
    If the concept was wrong, then a lot of things would have to be rethought.

    Therefore, there is temptation to come up with other reasons to resolve the difficulty so that the person won't have to change their thinking, and the dichotomy over "God wants to heal my friend" vs "God let my friend die" can be resolved with the least amount of stress and ambiguity.

    So....
    Maybe the friend sinned and thus was being punished.
    Maybe people just didn't have enough faith or God would have pulled through.
    Maybe God had some special plan that is even better in the long run than the friend's survival.
    Lots of "reasons" are generated so that the original premises/opinion of God and what he should do doesn't have to change.

    Or maybe someone thinks that gay marriages are bad for kids and "turns kids gay."
    Then studies show the opposite. (Not saying they do, just saying, "What if the CW is wrong?")
    Does the opinion change?
    Or is it easier to generate reasons that can explain away the study without reconsidering the opinion?
    (Perhaps the study was fradulent. Or it was run by gay people, so it must be biased. Or the families in question had other factors making them good. Or... whatever?)


    So what is it in people (what psychological constructs exist) that drives these resolutions of cognitive dissonace?

    What is feared here? What is trying to be avoided by the convolutions of thought?

    Why is it hard to allow one's worldview to shift... or to embrace ambiguity?

    Who pays the expense of the unwillingness to change?

    I don't even have a particular idea in mind in terms of direction of the conversation, I'm just curious to see what others have to say about the topic and how it plays out in daily life and common society.
    Why not discuss cognitive dissonance within MBTI. It's right here and right now - it is germane - it is pertinent.

    Or is it too close to the bone?

  3. #3
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Why not discuss cognitive dissonance within MBTI. It's right here and right now - it is germane - it is pertinent. Or is it too close to the bone?
    My only guideline would be to discuss things in ways that ultimately keep the conversation about cognitive dissonance rather than diverging into an argument about particular happenings elsewhere.
    "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. #4
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Here's one I deal with:

    I like to believe that everyone has positive intentions. . .
    "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

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post

    So what is it in people (what psychological constructs exist) that drives these resolutions of cognitive dissonace?

    What is feared here? What is trying to be avoided by the convolutions of thought?

    Why is it hard to allow one's worldview to shift... or to embrace ambiguity?

    Who pays the expense of the unwillingness to change?

    I don't even have a particular idea in mind in terms of direction of the conversation, I'm just curious to see what others have to say about the topic and how it plays out in daily life and common society.
    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.

    Also, if this is relevant in any way (the title of the vid is):

    *NSFW - language*

    Also, the thumbnail is deceiving, attention grabber, the vid is actually very interesting.

    [youtube=y6Rv5KNQFu4]Cognitive Dissonance - TheAmazingAtheist from Youtube[/youtube]

  6. #6
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    "The reduction in cognitive dissonance" sounds like a title for an INTPs memoirs to me...
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  7. #7
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I don't understand why someone would believe God will heal their loved one, I guess. I see little evidence in the Bible or in life that God singles people out to exempt them from normal human suffering. Everybody dies. Often there is no apparent rhyme or reason to when and how they do. I believe the Spirit of God can comfort and guide us through life's difficulties, but I don't believe that he shields us from most of them.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  8. #8
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I don't understand why someone would believe God will heal their loved one, I guess. I see little evidence in the Bible or in life that God singles people out to exempt them from normal human suffering. Everybody dies. Often there is no apparent rhyme or reason to when and how they do. I believe the Spirit of God can comfort and guide us through life's difficulties, but I don't believe that he shields us from most of them.
    I'm afraid I've felt very misled by stories of healing in the Bible. I think that's what makes people want to believe in modern day reprieve, 11th hour rescues when all hope is gone.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    I'm thinking, Pink, that the Bible addresses that specifically because that's how people instinctively like to think when all hope is gone.

    People who are desperate are easy to motivate. . .

    (You look so particularly muscle-y today, my dear.)

    Might even go so far as to say you look "gluteus."
    Last edited by Anja; 08-26-2008 at 03:31 PM. Reason: One more smart remark.
    "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

  10. #10
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PinkPiranha View Post
    I'm afraid I've felt very misled by stories of healing in the Bible. I think that's what makes people want to believe in modern day reprieve, 11th hour rescues when all hope is gone.
    *sigh* Yeah. Wanting to believe, hoping, and praying are good and I do believe that God still heals people, but I don't see any kind of pattern for it. It's kind of like winning the lottery.

    IMO, a lot of the Evangelical faith healing/prosperity teachers have done a great deal of wrong in some of the ideas they have promoted. They only tend to focus on the good, but not the hardships. They speak as though it is a sign of faith to be healed, and it can be, but to me, it takes much more faith to trust in and serve God despite not being healed.

    I wish there was more more balance in the things that get taught. Job was a good man, and God restored much of what he lost, but his older children were not resurrected. Ezekiel did not get his wife back. Most of Jesus' disciples are believe to have been murdered. Horrible things sometimes happen to wonderful people and sometimes wonderful things happen to horrible people. There some families where it's impossible to imagine how so much hardship seems to be piled upon them and others where they just seem to breeze through life with straight, white smiles and picket fences never disturbed.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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