Cognitive Dissonance


What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires — desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.

-Betrand Russell

Here is a collection of material that I have studied on the topic of Cognitive Dissonance. I will study more on the subject in the future and the material can be found by clicking the label “Cognitive Dissonance” on the side of my webpage.

Cognitive dissonance is a state of opposition between cognitions. For the purpose of cognitive consistency theory, cognitions are defined as being an attitude, emotion, belief or value, or even a mixture of these. In brief, the theory of cognitive dissonance holds that contradicting cognitions serve as a driving force that compels the human mind to acquire or invent new thoughts or beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, so as to minimize the amount of dissonance (conflict) between cognitions.


~ by bonoboi on July 29, 2006.

2 Responses to “Cognitive Dissonance”

  1. […] 27, 2008 by markii what was your first experience with cognitive dissonance, or one of the first times that you realized something didn’t add up in your religious […]

  2. I read a lot of this, being the links above, but it has little to do with my experience of Mormonism, nor does it explain them at all. There is more to it than being in some sort of denial, that is no explanation of my experience, part of which I’ve shared in ‘Do feelings = Knowledge’.
    Does anyone in the above long discourses at any time recommend a person ask God? I don’t know because I haven’t read all, but it didn’t seem like that was going to come up. It’s almost too simple, neither Joseph Smith nor any Mormon leader made that idea up, it was in the Bible long before them, and it’s stated clearly by James. The Apostles indicated how it was done: 32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. There seems only one simple sure test for Mormonism, its straight forward and practical, it doesn’t involve asking a Mormon leader or missionary if it’s true, they would always tell you to ask God. Seeking him out can be done this way; study the Book of Mormon and as you do when or if your mind considers the question; could it possibly be true, make a point of asking God if it is at that point and see what happens. If you really want to know test it the way God asks us to test it, it really comes down to being between you and him, how much do you sincerly want to know truth?

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