The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about and refuse to investigate – Wayne Dyer
What is it? Well basically it’s the difficulty of believing what you thought was true, is actually false. Confusion and mental conflict occur when beliefs we hold onto so tightly and the new facts contradict each other. Cognitive dissonance is a matter of commitment to the choices we have made, and the need to justify that commitment even in the face of conflicting evidence.
Cognitive Dissonance is basically a lie to oneself.
We don’t like to believe that we’re wrong so we may limit our intake of new information if it doesn’t fit into our pre-existing beliefs. In psychology it’s called confirmation bias.
Self awareness is key to understanding how and why cognitive dissonance can play a role in your life. If your explanation for something is ‘Well that’s the way I’ve always thought about it’ then that is a clear sign. Challenge yourself to keep an open mind to new ideas.
Cognitive Dissonance is unconscious.
We think that we are truth seeking creatures but there is much evidence to maintain that our emotional stability is more important to us than sharpening up on our perception of reality. In the face of convincing evidence to the contrary of our beliefs we should note the canyon sized gap between them and the new evidence.
Take 9/11 for example, the reporting of the events of that day were so traumatising that people have become emotionally invested in believing the official version of events that they refuse to see other facts and evidence pertaining to the fact that it was an inside job. When confronted people will often become abusive and angry.
Furthermore, many people wont even look at the new evidence as dissonance is too strong and too much emotion has been invested to go back on.
The only thing to overcome this dissonance is to admit to yourself that you have been lied to and inform yourself about those lies! Things are not always as they first seem!