Cognitive Dissonance

I am fascinated by the phenomenon of „Cognitive Dissonance“.

It is the word for situations, where you do things that you don´t want to do, but then do them anyway –  where two contradictory beliefs in one person clash into each other.

For example:
– You want to live healthy, but you keep smoking.
– You love animals, but you consume animal products all the time.
– You love generosity, but in the bar you skip the round of buying the drinks.

The brain is exposed to massive stress when this happens. It needs to find arguments and explanations for the sake of it´s own hygiene, having to integrate such a clash contradictory beliefs. So it starts betraying itself.

What you do is this:

* You find ways to justify what you do:
– one cigarette in a while won´t kill me
– I donate money to Greenpeace once in a while
– They have more money than me.

* you add more beliefs:
– Smoking makes me calm down
– Animal protein is neccessary
– In the long perspective it is ok

*you avoid hearing more information about the contradictory bias.
– You stop reading about the risks of smoking
– You make jokes about vegan to stop the conversation
– You just leave the club when it is your turn.

All the time you feel incomplete, somehow dissatisfied, as if something is obscuring your mind, and you even don´t have a clue what it could be.

Where do you have your own Cognitive Dissonances, and how do you cope with them?

How would life feel if you lived more consonant rather than dissonant?

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