Posted by: Amanda | October 27, 2007

Cognitive Dissonance

Definition:

This is the feeling of uncomfortable tension which comes from holding two conflicting thoughts in the mind at the same time.

Dissonance increases with:

  • The importance of the subject to us.
  • How strongly the dissonant thoughts conflict.
  • Our inability to rationalize and explain away the conflict.

Cognitive dissonance is a very powerful motivator which will often lead us to change one or other of the conflicting belief or action. The discomfort often feels like a tension between the two opposing thoughts.

Dissonance is most powerful when it is about our self-image including internal projections during decision-making.

Dissonance increases with the importance and impact of the decision, along with the difficulty of reversing it.

This would be my life right now.

Its too multifaceted and touches too many parts of my life to explain more. But I felt compelled to mark it, to know later – this was the time I went through this. September 2007 thru …. February 2008


Responses

  1. Life can be a big tangle of cognitive dissonance, and I don’t think most can ever be solved. How is that for a downer of a thought? HAHA! No, I don’t mean it as a downer; I just think that certain dissonances can just never be resolved, but are just things we ponder and accept and choose the paths that feel best to us and are best for our families. I have an example in my life of one that I know will never reach resolution: I truly believe 2 things that are at complete odds with each other. Very weird…but just true of the human experience. Religion is the biggest one for me personally (reconciling being an intelligent, rational person with believing in things unseen and being skeptical that God’s hand is at work in everything we do, while trying to understand the rationale in others that He does…loved a particular quote in that “Tolstoy Lied” book that you recommended on exactly that); marriage and parenting can be big tangles of dissonance; that subject of adoption that we often talk about is another (wanting to believe that our children were meant to be in our families while also believing that children would never be meant to leave their family of origin). Mmm, not sure why the subject of cognitive dissonance makes me so talkative. I think it’s an unsolvable problem of being human.

  2. Love you!


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