BFP EyeOpener Report-The Psychology of Cognitive Dissonance

The theory of cognitive dissonance was first posited by American social psychologist Leon Festinger in 1957 to explain the discomfort and mental stress that we feel when our beliefs, ideals or values don’t match up to reality. Festinger’s theory states that when people are in a state of dissonance, that is, when their beliefs or values don’t match up with their behavior or experiences, they will adjust those beliefs or values, or even adjust their perception of reality, in order to achieve consonance. Furthermore, Festinger showed that people will actively avoid situations or information that might challenge those beliefs and values in order to avoid dissonance.

Find out more about cognitive dissonance, how to spot it, and what to do about it on this week’s EyeOpener Report with James Corbett.

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Comments

  1. Excellent piece -for all the times that “conspiracy theorists” have been ‘psychologized,’ the tables here are turned against the would-be debunkers.

  2. ‘Its like a mirror’ he said.
    ‘You go through it, you get cut by the glass’.

  3. avatar tonywicher says:

    Very few people go so far as to be fully mature, independent thinkers who rely entirely on their own intelligence to determine what is true. The intellectually childish, who are the vast majority, follow authority, whether of their parents, a church or a political authority. They may rebel against one authority, but only to follow another. When the authority they rely on is questioned, they become first insecure and then angry. These emotions interfere with reason and scientific objectivity. It is very hard to get past these emotions. The neocons who staged 9/11 understand and use the psychology of authority as the Nazis did. The authority tells its believers how to interpret what they see. In the case of Building 7, for example, anyone can SEE it’s a controlled demolition, but if an authoritative government agency such as NIST says it was a gravitational collapse, it overrides sense-perception. “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”

  4. avatar chris bagg says:

    Indeed, cognitive dissonance is what happens when we perceive an unexplained hole in the official narrative of some event of great national importance. A “hole in the flag” that we fall through is what we called it in the seventies, before we realized how deliberate it was. One of the most compelling kinds of evidence of this sort of hole is visual evidence, like the video of building 7 falling, or the Zapruder film. Video evidence is very inconvenient when it contradicts the official narrative. Seeing is believing. Consequently, whenever we see that visual evidence which ought to be there is missing or unavailable, it should raise a big red flag. This has occurred numerous times in recent history around important events. Here are some examples: the OKC bombing: lost cctv footage, the pentagon attack: confiscated footage, the Gabby Giffords shooting: unavailable surveillance video, The aurora theatre shooting: unavailable cctv, Sandy hook shooting: unavailable cctv, and finally, the Boston Bombing: unavailable surveillance footage. We were told that video exists showing the bombers placing the bombs, but we have never been shown it. The picture of Jahar with his back pack on the ground is clearly photoshopped. What happened to the Macy’s video of the crowds before and after the bombing? This would tell us a great deal about who was there and when. In particular, it might help resolve the issue of whether these events were staged. In fact there already exists some very compelling visual evidence of this from other sources, so the absence of any cctv footage is very suspicious indeed.
    Most of the viewers here agree that 911 was a staged event, perpetrated and covered up by the US government. The cognitive dissonance we first experienced has been diminished by the compelling evidence. While the notion that some of these other events were staged might stretch our credulity at first, we should take a second look, in light of the absence of cctv footage. We should not dismiss the idea that ‘crisis actors’ were use to stage these events without looking at the visual and other evidence. All this talk of psychologizing the conspiracy theorist, and ‘crazy lines’ beyond which we should not go is an unhelpful distraction. It would be nice to see Boiling Frogs cover some of this evidence, and not dismiss it with a Chomskyan wave of the hand. Look at the evidence please. Anyone want some you tube links?

    • avatar tonywicher says:

      You left out one of the most egregious hoaxes, the “killing” of bin Laden, who had been dead for ten years at the time. Once you understand that 9/11 was, indeed, an inside job, you realize that totally diabolical people are in power, and you also realize that the media is controlled by the same people. The Shoe Bomber, the Underpants Bomber, Sandy Hook, Aurora, the Fort Hood shooting, the Boston bombing, etc. are all staged events meant to keep the people in a state of unreasoning fear and subservience. Go ahead and supply the links if you want. For myself, I feel that I already have the general picture and don’t need to spend too much time on the details. If a dirty bomb goes off in Manhattan, as our Liar in Chief has said he is worried about, I will know it’s a false flag.

  5. Moral, Ethical, political and general consciousness and actions, are the greatest obligations of all. Deny all those on countless levels, and you automatically create a Fake identity, Fake morality and Fake world view.

    It’s why I hardly ever blame propaganda. Sure some propaganda is more effective than others, but it’s always the individual that makes and endless series of choices that overwhelms any propaganda – good or bad.

  6. avatar CuChulainn says:
  7. avatar CuChulainn says:
  8. I was struck by the woman saying how it felt the ground had fallen out from underneath her when she realized the government is not working for her benefit, to put it mildly. (The “government” is not a monolith, of course, and I like to remind others and myself of that when the term is used without qualification. Elements of the government are predatory, and other elements are self-absorbed and parasitic. But for the most part it’s just people working for a living.)

    But back to the main point, it’s easy to be thunderstruck to realize that anyone can be as innocent of reality as she described herself, believing the “government” (in the monolithic sense) is the main source of good in society and is genuinely concerned for the welfare of those it has power over. I learned better than that at the age of 12, in a very disturbing way. So even though I find myself thunderstruck, on the other hand I don’t know how well insulated she may been by group-think. Circumstances of my childhood made me a loner, so my group-think barrier was low and easily breached. Hers may have been much stronger.

    Through my teenage years I was seething with rage not only at the reality of the situation, but also that I had been deprived of my little piece of the common illusion prematurely. I grieved for the benign world I had imagined I was growing up in, and as I got older my rage at the real world gave me the potential to follow a very dark path. By the Grace of God I was led to turn my attention outward and appreciate what is wonderful in this world and in other people, and to realize I was certainly not the first nor last young person to feel a sense of betrayal. None of us are the center of the universe, but we can all make the choice to hurt or help.

    Coming out of cognitive dissonance concerning the nature of the world is excruciating at any age. When we know someone who is in the process, and these days there are many indeed, the temptation is to dump the whole load (you know what I mean) on them so we can quickly get them fully up to our speed. If you’re tempted to do that, stop for just a moment and examine your motivation: Is it your wanting the other person to realize they should have agreed with you all along, or is it a genuine desire to be helpful and a good friend? What motivates you will determine how you proceed.

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