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Author Topic:   Cognitive Dissonance and Cultural Beliefs
RAZD
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Posts: 19719
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 31 of 102 (671205)
08-23-2012 7:24 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by Dr Adequate
08-23-2012 6:26 AM


Re: Cognitive Dissonance In Politics
Thanks Dr Adequate,

Similar things might happen on the left. For example someone who maintained that racial/religious profiling wouldn't help catch terrorists would I think be sacrificing facts to reduce dissonance between on the one hand, the principle "We should prevent terrorism" and on the other hand "profiling is wrong". But I don't see liberals who oppose profiling doing that; rather they live with the problem, and say things like: "This is the price we pay for living in a civilized society." ...

My personal opinion on this one is that the 9/11 attack was not so much an attack on the US as it was on the world economic capitalist system (it was the World Trade Center after all -- full of international business offices and foreign company workers), and that the overall effect of the attack was really rather minimal to the US people (there was more damage done by Bush and "Fear Inc" than by the actual attack). In addition profiling doesn't stop the homegrown terrorists from Timothy McVay to abortion doctor killing fundamentalists. My resolution is that the government over-reacted (in many ways including invading Iraq ...).

Another one to look at is immigration.

Principle 1: It is bad to immigrate illegally especially when people are waiting to do it legally
Principle 2: Farmers and factories need immigrant labor to meet their production needs, preferably with low pay workers
Solution: temporary work cards or some kind of "work to citizenship" program that would sign people up to work say 4 years, and learn english and get a GED in night school, with cit test at the end.

But nowadays the problem at least in my experience is predominantly on the right: the left have become more pragmatic, and the right more ideological

Agreed, as we have shifted to the center (abandoned by the GOP) for fiscal responsibility and still hold on to principles of social justice the emphasis is more on a blend of socialism with a capitalist democracy, including a more just tax system, such as we see working in other countries -- particularly on things like universal single payer medicare and social security.

This biggest threat I see to the US is the still growing corporate anarchistic hegemony takeover of government, using jingoist propaganda and actively seeking to lower the economy for the middle and lower classes. Companies becoming more like independent medieval city states and people becoming (if not already) peasants.

Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : clrty


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-23-2012 6:26 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-23-2012 7:54 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
Dr Adequate
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Posts: 16065
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.5


(1)
Message 32 of 102 (671210)
08-23-2012 7:54 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by RAZD
08-23-2012 7:24 AM


Re: Cognitive Dissonance In Politics
Principle 1: It is bad to immigrate illegally especially when people are waiting to do it legally
Principle 2: Farmers and factories need immigrant labor to meet their production needs, preferably with low pay workers
Solution: temporary work cards or some kind of "work to citizenship" program that would sign people up to work say 4 years, and learn english and get a GED in night school, with cit test at the end.

Well, that's not an example, because the solution is an attempt at a pragmatic compromise. For it to be an example of what I'm talking about, the second principle would have to be a principle rather than a statement of fact, and the solution would have to be something along the lines of: "Farmers need no such thing, if there were no migrant workers those vegetables would practically pick themselves."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by RAZD, posted 08-23-2012 7:24 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
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Posts: 19719
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 33 of 102 (671212)
08-23-2012 8:57 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by Straggler
08-22-2012 7:06 PM


revisiting old arguments again? is that not a sign of dissonance?
Hi Straggler,

Again, not sure we need to revisit old arguments ...

For the record I didn't feel any such feelings during that discussion. ...

No surprise? Really? No effect at all?

And yet, for the record, you could not let the discussion go (and still can't?), perhaps because your "resolution" is such a strong conviction that you are correct that you don't need to change ... but you have a nagging discomfort ...?

Aside from disagreeing wth you in areas that you yourself have a strong emotional attachment to ...

So you are saying that the dissonance caused by the disagreement between us doesn't apply to you because you assign it all to me? -- aren't you excusing your part of the disagreement as justified by my apparent dissonance, thus maintaining your (notably) firm belief that you are correct? Is this not the first defense of cognitive dissonance?

... objectively identify who is suffering from cognitive dissonance and who isn't?

Again, everyone is "suffering" -- subject to cognitive dissonance -- it is unavoidable because no two minds are alike. The question is one of degree. Or do you deny this as well?

It seems you ignored the whole cell analogy -- to turn the discussion back to one of your pet peeves, something that seems to disturb you, that you can't seem to let go -- why is that?

Let me suggest that this discussion not disrupt this thread further, but that if you do want to pursue it further, we can have a new thread just to discuss your dissonant behavior ...

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Straggler, posted 08-22-2012 7:06 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
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 Message 35 by Straggler, posted 08-23-2012 10:29 AM RAZD has responded
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Panda
Member (Idle past 1688 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 34 of 102 (671218)
08-23-2012 10:13 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by RAZD
08-23-2012 8:57 AM


Re: revisiting old arguments again? is that not a sign of dissonance?
RADZ writes:

And yet, for the record, you could not let the discussion go (and still can't?), perhaps because your "resolution" is such a strong conviction that you are correct that you don't need to change ... but you have a nagging discomfort ...?

And yet, for the record, you could not let the discussion go (and still can't?), perhaps because your "resolution" is such a strong conviction that you are correct that you don't need to change ... but you have a nagging discomfort ...?

It seems strange for you to accuse Straggler of "not let[ting] the discussion go" when it was you that re-started it in Message 24 and continue to argue about it.
But it seems less strange when your behaviour is viewed from the PoV of cognitive dissonance.

I suspect that your own cognitive dissonance about your belief in an unevidenced deity causes you several problems - that discussion being one of them.
I am wondering if this whole thread is actually to give you comfort, where you can describe others and say to yourself: "They are as conflicted as I am!"

But Straggler denies having any discomfort - and you seem unable to accept that.
I too feel/felt no discomfort during the PseudoScience discussion.
But I don't expect you to believe me either.

What reason would you give for someone denying the personal claims of others without any supportive evidence?
Sounds like cognitive dissonance to me...


"There is no great invention, from fire to flying, which has not been hailed as an insult to some god." J. B. S. Haldane

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by RAZD, posted 08-23-2012 8:57 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
Straggler
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Posts: 10267
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 35 of 102 (671221)
08-23-2012 10:29 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by RAZD
08-23-2012 8:57 AM


Re: revisiting old arguments again? is that not a sign of dissonance?
RAZD writes:

Revisiting old arguments again? Is that not a sign of dissonance?

Well I don’t know. It was you who re-raised the whole “pseudoskeptic” issue again so perhaps we should be asking you that question. Are you experiencing any feelings of surprise, dread, guilt or embarrassment as a consequence of posting Message 24...?

RAZD writes:

And yet, for the record, you could not let the discussion go (and still can't?)…

Pot. Kettle.

RAZD writes:

So you are saying that the dissonance caused by the disagreement between us doesn't apply to you because you assign it all to me?

Would you care to highlight where in the ‘Pseudoskepticism and Logic’ thread (which you linked to as exemplifying cognitive dissonance in action) you were suffering from cognitive dissonance? I think in a thread exploring this phenomenon some specific examples of that condition occurring in a context we are all familiar with would be very enlightening. Furthermore I would be interested to see if your own dissonance correlated to your accusations of it being experienced by others in that thread.

RAZD writes:

Let me suggest that this discussion not disrupt this thread further, but that if you do want to pursue it further, we can have a new thread just to discuss your dissonant behavior ...

My question in this thread is perfectly valid in this thread. How do you objectively identify when someone is suffering from cognitive dissonance?

In practically every debate you take part in (ironically including this one) you relentlessly accuse others of being afflicted by this condition. And yet the only consistent qualification for (apparently) suffering from cognitive dissonance seems to be significantly disagreeing with you on topics where you have a strong emotional attachment. How do you explain your apparent ability to induce CD in nearly everyone you debate with RAZ?

RAZD writes:

Again, everyone is "suffering" -- subject to cognitive dissonance -- it is unavoidable because no two minds are alike.

Oh. So when in debates you accuse others of cognitive dissonance you are actually merely pointing out that there is disagreement and highlighting that all disagreeing parties are suffering from CD including you?

Then I guess we can both agree that you must currently be suffering from cognitive dissonance as a result of this conversation?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by RAZD, posted 08-23-2012 8:57 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by RAZD, posted 08-24-2012 10:20 AM Straggler has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 36 of 102 (671227)
08-23-2012 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by RAZD
08-23-2012 8:57 AM


Re: revisiting old arguments again? is that not a sign of dissonance?
Again, everyone is "suffering" -- subject to cognitive dissonance -- it is unavoidable because no two minds are alike. The question is one of degree.

So, how do you tell how much CD a poster on an internet forum is subject to?

You're using their behavior ("blind spots in thinking and making conclusions, confirmation bias, inconsistent or invalid application of logic, etc (ie special pleading, straw-man arguments, ad hominems, repetition of bad arguments and the like)"), but it would be really easy to stage those behaviors while not being subjected to any CD at all.

So how do you know when its genuine behavior or not?

Edited by Catholic Scientist, : punctuation


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 Message 33 by RAZD, posted 08-23-2012 8:57 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
Dr Adequate
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Posts: 16065
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.5


(2)
Message 37 of 102 (671267)
08-23-2012 8:43 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Dr Adequate
08-23-2012 6:26 AM


Re: Cognitive Dissonance In Politics
In a fine illustration of the mind resolving dissonance, Huckabee has attacked Republicans who condemned Akin for being "not rational". Now, back in the real world, it is actually rational to say things that are true and to abstain from saying things that are false.

So what does Huckabee mean by rationality? He means, in effect, reducing dissonance. The reason Republicans are "irrational" to condemn Akin, is, as he explains, that the GOP is "a Party that supposedly stands for life". Rationality, he thinks, consists of accepting or at least not publicly criticizing those falsehoods which make it psychologically less troubling for hardline pro-lifers to maintain their point of view. To him, that's what rationality means: not that one's opinions should be consistent with the facts, but that if it comes to the crunch you should believe falsehoods consistent with your opinions.

OPf course, Huckabee is not only a conservative but also a Southern Baptist minister ...


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jar
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Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 38 of 102 (671270)
08-23-2012 8:56 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Dr Adequate
08-23-2012 8:43 PM


Re: Cognitive Dissonance In Politics
OPf course, Huckabee is not only a conservative but also a Southern Baptist minister ...

Southern Baptist? The group that were the driving force for decriminalizing abortion. Got it.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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 Message 37 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-23-2012 8:43 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19719
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 39 of 102 (671310)
08-24-2012 10:20 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by Straggler
08-23-2012 10:29 AM


please stop snowballing
Please Straggler, I do not want another long drawn out pointless wasting of a thread.

I am just out from 5 days of 24 hr chemo, I am tired rundown and sore.

(1) This thread is not specific to people but to groups of people (cultural beliefs)

(2) There are a bunch of factors listed before getting to pseudoskepticism, and you apparently have not had any issue with them.

(3) When I raised pseudoskeptics I specifically said it was to focus on a different aspect than the previous thread:

Message 24:
There are some members of the skeptics’ groups who clearly believe they know the right answer prior to inquiry. They appear not to be interested in weighing alternatives, investigating strange claims, or trying out psychic experiences or altered states for themselves (heaven forbid!), but only in promoting their own particular belief structure and cohesion . . .

The second group was the focus of discussion in the previous thread, so here I want to bring up the third group.

Color added for emphasis -- this is the group where cognitive dissonance is affecting their willingness to pursue the possibility of alternate explanations. This aspect does not apply to psychic\supernatural experiences alone, but to any situation where people have an a priori belief that something is wrong, and are unwilling (in varying degrees) to consider the possibility that they may be wrong. The stronger the unwillingness, the greater the cognitive dissonance and attempts to avoid\deflect\discredit contrary arguments.

bold added

Now do you, or do you not, agree that the behavior highlighted in color is consistent with cognitive dissonance and that this can and does define a subclass of skeptics (rather than individuals, and who is or isn't one)?

If you agree then that is all that is needed here, and all I am concerned with at this time.

Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : hr


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Straggler, posted 08-23-2012 10:29 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Straggler, posted 08-24-2012 1:03 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 42 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-24-2012 1:57 PM RAZD has responded
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10267
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


(2)
Message 40 of 102 (671347)
08-24-2012 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by RAZD
08-24-2012 10:20 AM


Re: please stop snowballing
RAZD on pseudoskeptics writes:

(rather than individuals, and who is or isn't one)?

I haven’t made any comment at all in this thread about who is or is not a pseudoskeptic at all. Nor will I. I have specifically stayed away from even vaguely mentioning the topic substance of the thread you linked to. In this thread I have simply asked you how we can objectively identify when someone is suffering from cognitive dissonance.

You cited that thread as exemplifying CD and you certainly weren’t shy in asserting that the people disagreeing with you in that thread were suffering from CD. You informed me personally that I was experiencing cognitive dissonance numerous times when I honestly didn’t think I was. So my question remains – Do you have a method of objectively identifying when people are experiencing cognitive dissonance or is it just a case of you somehow knowing and declaring that they are?

RAZD writes:

Now do you, or do you not, agree that the behavior highlighted in color is consistent with cognitive dissonance and that this can and does define a subclass of skeptics (rather than individuals, and who is or isn't one)?

I don't know if people displaying this behaviour are suffering from cognitive dissonance or not. Is that behaviour always indicative of cognitive dissonance? Or do people behave in this way for numerous reasons that don’t necessarily have anything to do with experiencing cognitive dissonance? I would suggest the latter as quite likely.

Furthermore I have seen you accuse many who seem quite willing to contemplate being wrong and who don’t appear to me to be displaying these behaviours to any significant extent of being in a near perpetual state of cognitive dissonance. I still have no real idea how you are coming to this conclusion or why you think that you have the uncanny ability to induce CD in practically everyone who disagrees with you significantly

RAZD writes:

Again, everyone is "suffering" -- subject to cognitive dissonance -- it is unavoidable because no two minds are alike.

If cognitive dissonance is just a natural and inevitable symptom of disagreement experienced by all those disagreeing then it barely seems worth pointing out that people are experiencing this on a debate board.

Personally I think genuine cognitive dissonance, cognitive dissonance to a degree worth commenting upon, is quite rare. Largely restricted to situations where people are blatantly contradicting themselves to an extent that even they can recognise whilst being consciously unable to discard any of the contradictory beliefs in question. We can read accounts of this sort of thing from those who have undergone deconversions from evidence defying religious beliefs and suchlike. Genuine cases like this are interesting and worth examining.

But I think you use accusations of cognitive dissonance essentially as a debate tactic. A method of deflecting from the issue at hand by instead relentlessly focussing on the (supposed) mental state of your opponent.

For what it’s worth I think you would be a better debater if you stopped accusing everyone who disagrees with you significantly of being in a state of cognitive dissonance.


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Modulous
Member (Idle past 79 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


(3)
Message 41 of 102 (671353)
08-24-2012 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by Straggler
08-24-2012 1:03 PM


detecting cognitive dissonance
Personally I think genuine cognitive dissonance, cognitive dissonance to a degree worth commenting upon, is quite rare.

I think the main objection I would have to it is that cognitive dissonance occurs when you yourself discover an inconsistency in your own ideas. Just because RAZD has produced the perfect argument that shows your inconsistencies, it doesn't mean that you follow, understand and accept the argument. And therefore since you have yet to discover that you hold two contradictory ideas, you do not suffer from the dissonance this produces.

People assume that their argument is not only sound, but persuasive and simple to understand. When someone doesn't seem persuaded, its easy to think that they must surely have understood it, so they must be wilfully denying it. Why do that? To resolve cognitive dissonance!

Personally, I think false positives are way too easy when it comes to detecting someone else suffering from a psychological phenomena based on their writings.


This message is a reply to:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16065
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 42 of 102 (671360)
08-24-2012 1:57 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by RAZD
08-24-2012 10:20 AM


RAZD
No, you are wrong.

In psychology, cognitive dissonance theory clearly has a meaning. It is the idea that when someone holds two ideas that seem to be in conflict, they will come up with a third idea that will reduce that conflict.

The canonical example is of people paid to perform a boring task and then bribed to tell others that it's interesting. If they accept the bribe, they will then reduce their dissonance by genuinely believing that the task is interesting.

I have no idea what you mean by "cognitive dissonance" except that you seem to be suggesting that people are suffering from "cognitive dissonance" whenever they think they're right and you think they're wrong. Which would not even be a situation that would induce cognitive dissonance.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by Stile, posted 08-24-2012 2:08 PM Dr Adequate has responded
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Stile
Member
Posts: 3281
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 43 of 102 (671362)
08-24-2012 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Dr Adequate
08-24-2012 1:57 PM


Understanding CD
Dr Adequate writes:

The canonical example is of people paid to perform a boring task and then bribed to tell others that it's interesting. If they accept the bribe, they will then reduce their dissonance by genuinely believing that the task is interesting.

Perhaps you could expand a bit on this?

Is your result simplified and meant to generalize only in most cases? Or is this an all the time thing?
I mean, it's possible for someone to know that the task is boring, but accept the bribe and just lie to others about it being interesting just to get the bribe. The whole time, before, during and after the bribe, they could always know that it's a boring task.

In psychology, cognitive dissonance theory clearly has a meaning. It is the idea that when someone holds two ideas that seem to be in conflict, they will come up with a third idea that will reduce that conflict.

Or, is the bolded "seem" in the above quote the key word here? Is CD generally defined as a situation that "seems like" such a thing? And not necessarily being that thing in reality? If so, then I understand... just looking for clarification.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-24-2012 1:57 PM Dr Adequate has responded

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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16065
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 44 of 102 (671366)
08-24-2012 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Stile
08-24-2012 2:08 PM


Re: Understanding CD
Perhaps you could expand a bit on this?

Is your result simplified and meant to generalize only in most cases? Or is this an all the time thing?
I mean, it's possible for someone to know that the task is boring, but accept the bribe and just lie to others about it being interesting just to get the bribe.

Yes, but the point is that after receiving the bribe and telling the lie to the people whom they were bribed to lie to they are more inclined to believe themselves that the task was interesting, and to say to people without bribery that it was interesting.

What they are doing is this:

(1) I did this stuff. And I am not a liar. And I certainly wouldn't go about telling lies to people about how interesting is is just because I got $10 for doing so.
(2) I told a bunch of people that what I did was interesting, having accepted $10 to do so.
Solution: The task I performed was really interesting.

And if you examine them, they really think that the task they performed was interesting.

And here's a twist: the less you pay them to lie, the more the liars believe that the task was interesting.

As I say, this is the canonical experiment on cognitive dissonance. That's how it goes down. You may present other experiments.


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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10267
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 45 of 102 (671367)
08-24-2012 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Modulous
08-24-2012 1:22 PM


Re: detecting cognitive dissonance
Straggler writes:

Personally I think genuine cognitive dissonance, cognitive dissonance to a degree worth commenting upon, is quite rare.

Mod writes:

I think the main objection I would have to it is that cognitive dissonance occurs when you yourself discover an inconsistency in your own ideas.

Exactly!! Genuine cognitive dissonance requires a degree of self awareness and examination that is, frankly, quite rare.

That people are not being persuaded by arguments which may (or may not be) logically sound and evidentially robust is not in and of itself a sign of cognitive dissonance.

Only when one appreciates that one's own positions are contradictory does CD really come into effect.

So relentlessly accusing others of CD merely because they do not accept the "obvious" logic or "undeniable" evidential validity of your arguments is just not on.


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