Thursday, October 19, 2017
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Human Behavior

Cognitive Dissonance: Or How One Can't Admit They Made A Mistake

Parent Category: Human Behavior Category: Psychology

Cognitive Dissonance is one of those terms that is essential for you to remember, and to understand how society and various cultures work. 

People who can't admit that they are wrong or made a mistake in spite of, overwhelming facts and evidence, that they are wrong; that is Cognitive Dissonance.  Don't forget this concept and the term, for it is of paramount importance to understanding many articles from this web site as well as what you observe in the real and factual world.

Examples help to understand.  One of our staff members remembers visiting with a client in a previous time.  The client picked up our associate in a brand new Mercedes-Benz sedan automobile.  During the trip to his office he expounding at great length on many of the virtues of the newly purchased Mercedes.  He talked about it's plushness; it's suspension; it's engineering; it's reliability; and hinted on the automobile's prestige.  At the end of the lengthy resume on the car's qualities, he asked for our person's personal opinion about his new Mercedes vehicle.

Our acquaintance, being a very straight forward and truthful person, told his client that he personally found the Cadillac sedan to be a better choice.  He expound on real facts that the Cadillac was a better and softer ride and that the Mercedes "rode like a horse drawn buckboard wagon"; that the Cadillac was more plush, had just as good status, cost less to purchase and less to maintain; was more patriotic being American made, and was just an all around better car for the money.

The client became very defensive and made up false facts that our man knew was false.  The client was doing everything to justify his decision, even to the point of making a fool out of himself.  In short, the client could not admit that he made a $45,000 mistake.

People do this.  Things like this are not uncommon.  Many humans do this in various degrees.  Typically the larger the investment in time, money, emotion; and then have facts show up that indicates you are wrong, the more one's effort to self justify their original decision; even to the point of lying or making up facts to try and make a last minute effort to justify their incorrect decision.

Another example would be various denominations among the Christian religions.  Each denomination believes that their doctrine is the one, true and correct way to practice the Christian religion and the others are not.  If this were not so then they all would be embracing the same dogma.

Each denomination can become very adamant about being the one and only way of being a Christian.  This can even be to the point of violence against others.  History has proven this. 

When provided with empirical and historical fact that proves that they have been wrong in their beliefs for a long period time, they typically ignore the facts provided or result to other efforts to thwart the evidence by counter attacking the argument with lies, vague arguments or just walk away and not face the truth.

Politics is another obvious occurrence of cognitive dissonance.  We see different political parties making statements.  Some who make those statements, really believe they are true.  However, when confronted with the real facts that they were not aware or ignored, they do anything to refute the real facts.  For many, it is just part of the human nature to not admit that they were wrong then and are wrong now.

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Quotes & Facts

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have." -- Thomas Jefferson

If it is a fact, then it can't be known as "politically incorrect"

     "To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"     -- Marcus Tullius Cicero

     “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
  —John Adams

"Who controls the past controls the future.....
Who controls the present controls the past."
-- O'Brien in  Nineteen Eighty-Four
from the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell



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