Cognitive Dissonance

Article by Ben Doolin on Oct. 1, 2015


From Wikipedia – “In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.”

Have you ever entered a debate on the side of a subject you were positive was factually true and objectively provable… only to have your opponent dismiss (or try at least try to) your point without even considering it?

Cognitive dissonance is one of the greatest hurdles that we as humans face… when trying to spread new ideas.

The State… is logically false, exists to violate person and property, making it an evil, criminal organization.  However… mention that fact and people will assume you are insane.  It gets even worse if you suggest that The State should be eliminated.

I understand cognitive dissonance to be a ‘built in survival skill’, in that in a tribal situation, if one does not conform to the tribe (even if what they do is illogical or false) and end up ostracized… death is probable.

So, while providing some value to the individual, it makes the progress of new ideas very difficult.

Ironically, I’ve found that pointing out ‘cognitive dissonance’ to those that are ‘suffering’ from the problem (which I think everyone does to some extent) can force them to consider cognitive dissonance (i.e. if they try to immediately suggest that they do not… it is evidence that they do… which can result in the discomfort of trying to hold contradictory opinions) which can open the door to considering other issues (like Statism) which they have always simply accepted as true… without ever having considered the truth value of that position.

On the positive side, when people are finally converted to the perspective of freedom (usually after many months or even many years), they don’t go back.  Additionally a study onshifting opinions’ showed that a 10% vocal minority… is all that is needed to end with a majority holding the new position.