cognitive dissonance

Last night, in my Psych reading, I learned about the cognitive dissonance theory. It says that we have an in-built mechanism that makes us feel uncomfortable when we have two conflicting ideas, attitudes, beliefs, etc. It says that have have a motivational drive to reduce that dissonance. We reduce it by changing our attitudes, ideas, beliefs, etc. so that they are congruent.

With regards to decisions that we make, the cognitive dissonance theory explains why we often feel more confident after we’ve made a decision (that we have no option of changing, and that we made voluntarily) than before we make it. Any lingering doubts we might have constitute dissonance. So we resolve that dissonance by convincing ourselves that our decision was the right one.

I don’t want to resolve the dissonance. I want the truth.


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