Saturday, March 29, 2014

Challenging the Beliefs: Cognitive Dissonance


Well, online debates and discussions have not only been good medium for exchange of information but also for the study of human behavioral patterns. 
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We deal variety of people with variety of beliefs. Sometime we deal with the people who will argue against or comment “bullshit” on fact supported by concrete evidences and logical arguments. 
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So why do people not only deny the facts but also feel the need to argue defending their disbelief? 
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I think I am not alone in noticing that anyone speaking about world, national, or local problems tends to get less attention than those who are showering glory on whatever picture of utopia they happen to subscribe to, or whatever sport team they support. This is because sport teams and utopia do not tend to create "cognitive dissonance."
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Really, dissonance is tied together with our desire to feel that we are right, that we make good decisions, that our actions reflect our values, and that our point of view is reliable
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More precisely, cognitive dissonance is a psychological defense mechanism when your brain reacts defensively to new information which challenges or threatens your existing belief.  So, it is a feeling of an inner tension which is an outcome of our inner dialogue between two contradictory thoughts. 
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So, this psychological discomfort motivates the person to try to reduce dissonance and to achieve consonance, moreover the person with dissonance actively avoids the situation and the information which threatens to increase the dissonance and in order to deal with such situation people with either try to ridicule the information or else they tend to appeal to the authority and seek the shelter of some renowned personality.
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I would go further to say that in Mahabharata all what Krishna is doing that he is teaching Arjuna how to deal with cognitive dissonance and face the Truth.

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