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Author Topic:   Cognitive Dissonance and Cultural Beliefs
Modulous
Member (Idle past 361 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


(4)
Message 10 of 102 (669493)
07-30-2012 1:33 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by RAZD
07-30-2012 6:00 AM


Re: Personal experience/s and worldview bubbles
I would say that my experiences have been similar to yours with dissonance. Perhaps the biggest dissonance I experience now is trying to understand why some people struggle so much with accepting evidence when it seems so natural to me, and perhaps this is what has led me here. It would be interesting to see how someone that is a recovered YEC would describe their experience with the bubble boundary/ies.

I wouldn't call that dissonance, in the sense of cognitive dissonance. Everybody has some confusion over why other people 'just don't get it'.

So let me run you through one of my key moments of cognitive dissonance. It's not YEC, but my beliefs were held with a similar degree of fervour.

Haha! Their religious views are all clearly made up, I know the truth, and they're getting it all wrong.

How do I know the truth

Because I've experienced it first hand.

Well they say they've had experiences too

Then clearly they're lying.

Are you calling your friends liars?

*Prickly feeling. Gnawing doubt. Somethings amiss here. Quickly! A solution must be found. But how to square the circle? I know!*

Then they're mistaken.

What if you're mistaken, and they're not?

*Sudden sinking feeling. A sense that the world is spinning. Shutup shutup! Think about something else!*

*Several years pass*

They really believe that? How on earth can they believe that?

We've been here before. The last time you changed your views, you implicitly accepted you were mistaken

I'm not mistaken now

How do you know?

Because I've had direct personal experience to confirm it!

When Newton apocryphally personally experienced an apple falling, was that sufficient?

It was sufficient to prove to Newton that gravity existed

But what if other people thought the apple fell up?

Then you'd devise an experiment that could be run by anybody which would prove the direction of the apple's fall.

Can you run such an experiment to confirm your religious beliefs, or falsify theirs?

*uncomfortable moment as I juggle these two ideas. Again, a sinking feeling, again a prickly feeling, body temperature seems to rise, heart beat too.*

You don't run experiments on religious ideas!

Then how can you say who, if anybody, is right?

I've personally experienced these things

So have they; you've talked to a schizophrenic about what they have personally experienced. Do you doubt their reports? Do you believe what they reported?

*the symptoms mount, the prickliness threatens to produce sweat. The desire to consider something, anything else grows.*

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they're wrong. Maybe we're all wrong. If anyone is right, we'd never know.

*Dissonance resolves, discomfort melts away.*

Not how things went exactly, of course, but it followed that general pattern.

It seems fairly clear to me now that everyone's personal worldview (embedded within their cultural worldview), and it's impact on accepting and learning new information is their personal cognitive dissonance bubble, their worldview bubble, with the strength of the bubble wall being dependent on the tenacity of strongly held personal beliefs vs the willingness to discard falsified concepts and incorporate new ones.

Indeed - I like to try and identify the part of a person's worldview is causing them difficulties with the matter under discussion - and then trying to challenge that directly. Trying to battle cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias or cultural beliefs by reasoned argument and evidence is such a hard battle. If it's done regularly enough it has a chance of getting through, so its still a tool worth employing, of course.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by RAZD, posted 07-30-2012 6:00 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by RAZD, posted 07-30-2012 6:18 PM Modulous has acknowledged this reply

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 361 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 11 of 102 (669495)
07-30-2012 1:45 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Panda
07-30-2012 9:32 AM


Re: Personal experience/s and worldview bubbles
Perhaps the biggest dissonance I experience now is trying to understand why some people struggle so much with accepting evidence when it seems so natural to me, and perhaps this is what has led me here.

This sounds more like a person's normal ignorance of other people's motives, rather than cognitive dissonance.
What would be the conflicting facts that cause this dissonance?
Perhaps this is more like the psychological behaviour where we expect others to think the same as we do? (I can't remember it's name.)

There's the curse of knowledge., but that wasn't what you were thinking of.

Edited by Modulous, : fixed url


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Panda, posted 07-30-2012 9:32 AM Panda has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Panda, posted 07-30-2012 5:55 PM Modulous has acknowledged this reply

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 361 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:
 Message 40 by Straggler, posted 08-24-2012 1:03 PM Straggler has responded

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 361 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 51 of 102 (671411)
08-24-2012 9:22 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Dr Adequate
08-24-2012 1:57 PM


what is this blasted cognitive dissonance malarky?
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.

As far as I'm aware, and I may be wrong, the generation or confabulation or rationalization process isn't necessary for cognitive dissonance. It's just that there is a motivational drive towards reducing the dissonance, and those are some of the tactics. This process would be 'dissonance reduction'.

That's my general knowledge, that I just read the start of the wiki article on the subject to confirm. It is the 'discomfort felt by a person seeking to hold two or more conflicting cognitions...simultaneously.' It gives a very common example of cognitive dissonance, along with examples of its resolution:

quote:
Smoking is a common example of cognitive dissonance because it is widely accepted that cigarettes can cause lung cancer, and smokers must reconcile their habit with the desire to live long and healthy lives. In terms of the theory, the desire to live a long life is dissonant with the activity of doing something that will most likely shorten one's life. The tension produced by these contradictory ideas can be reduced by any number of changes in cognitions and behaviors, including quitting smoking, denying the evidence linking smoking to lung cancer, or justifying one's smoking.

The example you gave is of course also featured on the wiki page, amongst some others.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-24-2012 1:57 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
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