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Cognitive Dissonance
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★ Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance: see Contradiction & Difference & Doubt & Scepticism & Logic & Cynicism & Psychology & Religion & Mental Health & Mormons & Mind & Belief & Life’s Like That & Cults & Dogma & Disbelief

Marks & Kammann - George Orwell - Veronica Roth - Jordan Maxwell - David Hume - John Milton - George Orwell - William James - William Faulkner - John Steinbeck - Anonymous & Author Unknown - Daniel Dennett - H L Mencken - 

 

 

 

Once a belief or expectation is found, especially one that resolves uncomfortable uncertainty, it biases the observer to notice new information that confirms the belief, and to discount evidence to the contrary.  This self-perpetuating mechanism consolidates the original error and builds up an overconfidence in which the arguments of opponents are seen as too fragmentary to undo the adopted belief.  David Marks & Richard Kammann, Psychology of the Psychic

 

 

Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?  In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.  George Orwell, 1984

 

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four.  If that is granted, all else follows.  ibid.

 

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting them both.  ibid.

 

 

Every faction conditions its members to think and act a certain way.  And most people do it.  For most people, its not hard to learn, to find a pattern of thought that works and stay that way.  But our minds move in a dozen different directions.  We cant be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders.  It means we cant be controlled.  And it means that no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them.  Veronica Roth, Divergent 

 

 

Youre mind cannot be wrapped around that information.  You just dont want to hear it.  Jordan Maxwell, interview with Alex Jones 27th June 2008

 

 

The heart of man is made to reconcile the most glaring contradictions.  David Hume, Essays: Moral and Political 1741-2

 

 

And filled the air with barbarous dissonance.  John Milton, Comus, 1637  

 

 

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.  George Orwell

 

 

Double-think means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously and accepting both of them.  The party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered, therefore he knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of double think, he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated.  George Orwell

 

 

We need only in cold blood ACT as if the thing in question were real, and keep acting as if it were real, and it will infallibly end by growing into such a connection with our life that it will become real.  William James

 

 

It is a happy faculty of the mind to slough that which conscience refuses to assimilate.  William Faulkner, Light in August

 

 

This is the greatest mystery of the human mind the inductive leap.  Everything falls into place, irrelevancies relate, dissonance becomes harmony, and nonsense wears a crown of meaning.  But the clarifying leap springs from the rich soil of confusion, and the leaper is not unfamiliar with pain.  John Steinbeck, Sweet Thursday

 

 

Cognitive dissonance is at the root of denial.  Fear is at the root of cognitive dissonance.  The extent of our fear is determined by our general tendencies in that regard, and our beliefs.  The nature of our beliefs determine our vulnerability to the issue in question.  For example, I used to fear not being with my family in the Celestial Kingdom and wanted to be there with them.  Fear and desire walk down this path hand in hand.  Hence I obeyed the rules designed to get me what I wanted and avoid what I feared.  As soon as I no longer believed that the Celestial Kingdom existed, my motivation to do many things evaporated, including some that I did not even know were related to that belief disappeared.  Anonymous, board post 29th March 2005, ‘Why Can’t Insiders Accurately Perceive Their Own Culture?

 

 

Biases and cognitive dissonance play important roles in the psychological matrix that reduces the likelihood that sacred beliefs will be questioned.  For example, once we have made up our minds about something and held the opinion for some time, we are biased in favor of not changing our minds.  This is called ‘confirmation bias’.  Some psychologists believe that it alone is responsible for more faulty human decisions than any other human foible ...

 

A cognition is a piece of knowledge about an attitude, an emotion, a behaviour, a value, etc.  Two cognitions are said to be dissonant (thus producing ‘cognitive dissonance’) if one cognition conflicts with another.  For example, I like my friend, and trust him.  Various cognitions relate to this.  If I find out that my friend has lied to me, other cognitions form that are dissonant with those I already hold.  Cognitive dissonance is the term used to describe the resulting unpleasant mental state, which most humans immediately attempt to relieve themselves of much as they look for water when thirsty.


If two cognitions are dissonant, we tend to change one or both to make them consistent with each other.  This often results in what is sometimes called ‘denial’ – the suppression or unrealistic appraisal of evidence in an effort to reduce cognitive dissonance.  Denial is, by definition, invisible to the person or group that is subject to it, but often easily visible to outsiders.  Anonymous, board post 21st July 2005 ‘Mormon Polygamy and Apologetics – An Overview’

 

 

We all know people who deny that they’re atheists.  Daniel Dennett, lecture How to Tell You’re an Atheist, Global Atheist Conference 2012

 

There’s the cognitive dissonance.  ibid.

 

Of those 54% [UK] census Christians ... Half of them hadn’t attended a church service in the last year.  ibid.

 

The son of God – how can you believe that?  ibid.

 

There are better ways to help people lead better lives.  ibid.

 

The unembarrassed exploitation of this convenient dodge by critics – as if they had never noticed how they are availing themselves of a parlour trick.  ibid.

 

How do you tell wishful thinking from genuine belief?  ibid.

 

Scientists know the anguish of confronting awful facts.  ibid.

 

An adaptation of religious beliefs to be impenetrable in this way.  ibid.

 

Cartoon [son to mother]: Aren’t you a little old to have an imaginary friend?  ibid.

 

 

By what route do otherwise sane men come to believe such palpable nonsense?  How is it possible for a human brain to be divided into two insulated halves, one functioning normally, naturally and even brilliantly, and the other capable only of such ghastly balderdash which issues from the minds of Baptist evangelists? ...  Religion, after all, is nothing but an hypothesis framed to account for what is evidentially unaccounted for.  In other fields such hypotheses are common, and yet they do no apparent damage to those who incline to them.  But in the religious field they quickly rush the believer to the intellectual Bad Lands.  He not only becomes anaesthetic to objective fact; he becomes a violent enemy of objective fact.   It annoys and irritates him.  He sweeps it away as something somehow evil.  H L Mencken, The American Mercury February 1926