Don’t believe everything you think: cognitive dissonance

Reblogged on:

Comment: Oh if only the electorate used critical thinking to make informed decisions about who to vote for!

I found the ‘cognitive dissonance’ addressed in this article very interesting; being an ex Jehovah’s Witness, I can attest that this is what happens to them, they ignore the corruption within their society as a result. Towards the end of my association with them, I was coming out of meetings in tears, and I didn’t understand why. I now know that the ‘cognitive dissonance’ in my consciousness was breaking down, and I was starting to see all of the discrepancies within that religion.

One can only hope that those who voted conservative go through the same process. One doctor, shocked at the extent of the impending pay cuts, admitted that they had voted Conservative. They’ve voted against their own interests, and now they are facing up to that, and joining the marches and other activists.

I said at the time, if a government would change policy such that it resulted in the deaths of vulnerable or poor people and left the rest in abject poverty, what would they do to those who weren’t vulnerable?

Finally, I must say however, that the same analysis shouldn’t just be for the party you oppose, but also the party you support. I hate to see bloggers who will blindly defend their party over certain matters, stifling debate and opinion, when the facts say otherwise.

Politics and Insights


“Some things have to be believed to be seen.” – Ralph Hodgson

I’ve often thought that once people identify with a political party, there is a tendency to edit the world so that it conforms with their ideology. I suspect that exposure to more information about objective reality and politics doesn’t affect partisan bias because people tend to only assimilate those “facts” that confirm what they already believe. This is why many people become defensive, aggressive, incoherent and dogmatic when challenged with evidence that contradicts their fundamental world-view.

President Lyndon Johnson once said: It’s a heck of a lot easier to throw grenades than to catch them.

It’s the same with criticisms, especially those that challenge our cherished beliefs. I believe that critical thinking is a difficult and sometimes painful process. It requires facing often challenging and contradictory narratives about the fundamental nature of the world and ourselves, and evaluating…

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