Why Smart People Believe Weird Things
June 21, 2004 6:45 AM Subscribe
On Cognitive Dissonance
"As a behavioral psychologist, I have studied people's reactions to contradiction and inconsistency. We are capable of convincing ourselves of something, and the more evidence that builds up to contradict us the more we believe it.
For more than 40 years, social psychologists have studied the phenomenon of "cognitive dissonance" - what happens when people have pieces of information on the same subject that are inconsistent. The presence of contradictions is psychologically unpleasant, and people do whatever it takes to resolve the inconsistency."
Many in the field posit that tension between contradictory thoughts and feelings are what constitutes consciousness. It doesn't seem to me this qualifies as it appears to be highly dysfunctional and not a natural and normal tension. What say you who are more qualified?
posted by nofundy (31 comments total)
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