cognitive dissonance1. the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.
Today I wanted to talk about the concept of “cognitive dissonance” and the role it plays in our lives…and how the world can use it to sell us into things we might not otherwise buy.
First of all how does it work? Good question. According to Simply Psychology,“Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This produces a feeling of mental discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance.”
Basically, when you are struggling with different thought,s beliefs, or actions that are contradicting to each other or pre-existing information that you know…your brain does this little thing where it finds a way to make you feel comfortable…and it’s not usually resolving the problem or changing a behavior…but rather disassociating with said issue or habit.
We see this a lot with veganism…or the struggle with sticking to it. (This is one that I struggled with…so it is why I am using it as an example) When you have a craving for some cheese…suddenly the awareness of the animal cruelty or the massive amounts of research that prove that if a vegan diet is done properly (like any diet) you can have amazing health benefits and significantly make an impact on the planet environmentally…is easily pushed out of your mind by one article sponsored by the dairy industry that says cheese is actually very good for you.
It’s that moment when your personal beliefs or information contradicts with an old habit…to something that you want just want to do. That being said…there is absolutely no judgement coming from Kayteable…as I struggle with it just the same as any other human being. But being aware of it can be a big step.
That brings us to how companies/people use this idea to sell you things you might not otherwise buy. They know that in a moment of “weakness” you are looking for any excuse for a way out. That’s how research sponsored by big dairy, big pharma, or nicotine companies come out and are often pushed into view.
They are excuses we all look for and they know that. So, next time you are looking for an excuse…check your sources. Is it genuine? Or is it a deep dark excuse from the back of your mind or is it a study that wants you to give in?
Take a moment to realign yourself, what you believe in, and what you, as an individual. (Again, veganism was a relevant topic to me….but it can be just sticking to your diet, or exercising, or quitting that smoking habit…it is still applicable).
That is what was on the mind today. I hope that it was somewhat useful. If you want me to go into more specifics…I would be more than happy to oblige. As for now, I hope ou all have a happy Wednesday!