Cognitive dissonance


38 thoughts on “Cognitive dissonance

  1. Perhaps it’s not about evidence… not about giving a ‘new’ viewpoint. It is about being there with another, listening….then there is a ‘harmony’, the underlying harmony of theta…when the person GETS AWARE of it FIRST, then the person is in less ‘fear’ to ‘observe’ other data….so eventually the person will change his mind and let go a belief…all by himself.
    This is what I observed.

  2. Yes. Frantz Fanon and Per are on the same page.

    And if you argue to defend a wrong fixed idea, you will go down the scale of intelligence into the stupid range.

    You postulate yourself into stubborn stupidity.

    A very large percentage of the population does that.

    That is why I say, most people are only intelligent enough to argue to defend their stupidity, and the right to be that way.

    And it was not long ago that I found Per guilty of that himself.

    The operating data required to get out of that trap is as Hubbard said:

    In order to learn something you have to be willing to be wrong.

    In fact you should always operate on the datum that everything you know is wrong or could be wrong.

    Intelligence is the relative ability to impartially evaluate data and arrive at the most superior computation.

    Stupidity is the inability to evaluate data.

    Ignorance is the lack of data to evaluate.


    1. “In order to learn something you have to be willing to be wrong.”
      “In fact you should always operate on the datum that everything you know is wrong or could be wrong.”

      LIke it! It would deserve a separate post of what the willingness to be wrong means!

      1. A “fixed idea” is an illogic. It may or may not be a wrong answer. Even a blind monkey hits its mouth at times with the banana. Thus there are the possiblities of a “wrong fixed idea” and a “correct fixed idea” as well as a “no answer fixed idea.” What we do know is the answer was not determined by a logical means – maybe merely “chance.”

        1. Whether a fixed idea is illogical is relative to the syllogism. If I was in a universe that I was trying to make hold still, then fixing ideas might make perfect sense.

  3. The CORE BELIEF is that there is an entity, construct, called ‘ I ‘. When one looks really inside, one won’t find it.
    The ‘ I ‘ is on which all other beliefs rest…. the ‘ I ‘ must survive and protect itself….fear, rationalization bla. bla.
    With the ‘ I ‘ gone, one has ‘transcended’ the ‘mind’. Can create thoughts, emotions etc. and uncreate them – who is that if it’s not ‘me’ ? LIFE.
    There is still the body…so there can be natural emotions, fear, anger etc. included…but they are NATURAL, proper to the situation.
    Evidence, facts.. all relative, all rest on viewpoints. WHOSE viewpoints? Created by Life viewpoints….

    1. What if the core, “I”, is instead considered the “awareness of awareness” unit. Not saying it is not part or interacting with a “hive” and the composite would include “life.” If the viewpoints were created by “life” and you weren’t an “awareness of awareness unit” then how could you perceive them, think about them, etc. Forget proof. You personally know you can be aware of something, can perceive something and can even be aware of other life. If it was all one you would not have a distinct viewpoint different than mine, Geir, etc. Is not the “I” construct also the “awareness of awareness” construct.

      1. Sapere Aude

        Finishing reading you, I have just had a short talk with a workmate and had perception.
        I put here an analogy.
        The ‘physical’ between ‘me’ and ‘my workmate’ has disappeared for a second. ‘Silence, stop’. Then, like ‘fireworks’, ‘sparkles’ were observed, right after that the ‘body’ and the ‘thought with associated’ words appeared.
        I had the sense that the ‘base’, the ‘source’ of the fireworks is the same. Non-division, non-duality. Duality, separation has ‘arrived’ with the appearance of one sparkle (her) with her body and a thought. The ‘base’ kind of remained the same, the ‘sparkle’ just different.
        I didn’t do any ‘identification’. The ‘sparkle’ was just ‘different’. Then, with ‘normal’ perception but not identification we finished talking and here I am writing.

        1. Thanks for the video. I still find it could be true that there is an awareness of awareness of the “you” that is different that I am, or anybody else. Doesn’t mean you cannot interact and have live communication without some synthetic mock-up in the way. You will encompass that instant in time as a full two way communication with gates and barriers down. Think of overlapping circles. The part on the shared overlap would have a “oneness” but their still remains a distinct circle.

          Now, back to the OP. Cognitive dissonance will occur anytime there is a fixed idea. No rational thought or outcome can occur. No different than a held down 7. Both give the incorrect answer. In life, in computers, in business, etc. Only a willingness to observe and see/feel what is actually there – along with the integrity to now disavow what has been found to be true – will handle the cognitive dissonance. The fixed idea creates a continual create-counter create of which no duplication or as-isness will remove.

          1. Sapere Aude
            I love communicating with you. Whatever you write instantly comes through…so easy this way. Yes, I have that awareness of that overlapping circles too. To me, at this point, it seems,
            as Geir also writes, there are different levels of consciousness with different types of perceptions….I stop at this point because I can’t be aware of it ‘further’….
            Previously you wrote that you are kind of ‘enlightened’…yes, looks to be from how you write…will you put it into more words what it means-feels for you?

            1. Will have to say more later. But to correct I never feel kind of ‘enlightened’. I have the increase of awareness from auditing and training and life. Doesn’t make me any more ‘enlightened’ than the average person. Maybe more aware, as I feel all who post on this blog and others is – but not better in any way.

            2. SA
              Yes, I got all that you write. You put it into words what I had left out. Look forward to reading when you feel you would like to write, as it has been so far!!

          2. Sapere Aude
            I see what you write about cognitive dissonance the same way. Also, the way how to settle it.
            There is a woman, Byron Katie, who has a simple method for this. It works at a ‘surface’ level and one can go deep with it. I am going to put a video here.

            1. I haven’t seen it yet – I have seen some others but it was the first to appear on the Net.
              I trust Byron Katie that it will also be interesting. You can wiki who Byron Katie is.

          3. Sapere Aude and Marianne, I have posted very similar comments as to why I feel we are not “all one”. Where Sapere Aude used the word “overlap”, it reminded me of a kirlian photograph of the fingers of 2 people thinking negative thoughts about each other and another Kirlian photograph of the fingers of same 2 people thinking positive thoughts about each other. Here is one site that shows these photographs. Scroll down to about halfway down the page to see the photographs.


      2. When you choose to “forget proof” then just go back to bed and in the morning wake up and believe whatever you want. I see the “aware of awareness unit” just one more construct of the self — nothing less.

        1. “forget proof” – as in one doesn’t need proof to be able to perceive, think or observe. Yes, the awareness of awareness is a construct. Without some construct how would one learn to understand anything. I, personally, am not to the point of automatic knowing about anything and everything. Therefore, constructs help to view and understand. As long as we don’t forget they are but constructs. Sort of like forms for building concrete structures. After we have build it, can remove the forms and scaffolding and just have the end result.

          Does it matter what one thinks of engrams, mental image recordings of painful events, etc – to actually experience a betterment once this is longer a hidden/unobserved recording. Some word is going to be used. I feel the key is the increase of awareness, the waking up, as we progress on this flow. Whether by auditing, study, etc – does it really matter. It is the journey into increased awareness that is the enjoyment and result of moving on that journey. The end point probably doesn’t matter nearly as much as the journey. It could be that the journey IS the end point.

          1. GREAT! The movie Peaceful Warrior (I saw it two times) – you sent the videos as a reminder
            a couple of days ago….SA…you are great! (I got the video from a ‘karate boy’ earlier – it was at a ‘choice’ point in my life….Hm. the illusion of personal will and personal control over LIFE as free will …then….I may write down the end of it later….
            Yes…the journey IS the end point….that’s the Flow, the Tao…

  4. This quotation is from the book “Black Skin, White Masks,” written nearly 50 years ago by Frantz Fanon, Martinican revolutionary. It is not from the body of work on cognitive dissonance described in Wikipedia.

    Frantz is talking about very real economic / social advantage that is held in place by core belief systems — beliefs such as negroes are not human, but are animals, are not intelligent any more than a smart dog is, evidenced by their living in filth, squalor and degradation when left to their own devices because that is the way they are, just animals — and the white benefactor “saves” them from themselves.

    Challenging those beliefs produces cognitive dissonance because there is a REAL (not imagined) advantage that is threatened. In Martinque great wealth was produced by the by the use of slave labor, under the belief that negroes are animals and can be owned, sold and worked because they were not really human. Frantz points out that oppression is ALWAYS rationalized — the stupid masses, the black slave, bad genes, the unwashed poor, the needy, etc. Frantz is talking about dissonance in service of oppressive methods of producing and keeping wealth, prestige, power and position.


    This is not the same as monkeys choosing blue M and Ms because they chose blue ones first and now continue to choose blue M & Ms because they are favored.


  5. Maria,

    That’s an interesting aspect, and almost exactly the same sequence played out here in South Africa over many years. We didn’t have slavery as such, but the distinction is almost purely academic – the nett effect is very very similar. It played out like this:

    A century or two ago, whites overcame blacks by superior military force and other means. The need for cheap labour rose dramatically when diamonds were discovered in Kimberley and slightly later with gold on the Witwatersrand. Whites had the government and technological advantage and so owned the mines, and blacks became the labour force.

    With no effective controls in place, the mine owners paid the absolute minimum they could get away with, and that minimum put the labourer into poverty from which they could not break free. Then the justicifications started, the same ones as in Martinique – blacks are just animals, sub-human etc etc etc. The evidence was in how the blacks were living – in squalor. well, that’s not surprising seeing as they were given no other choice. It’s a really dirty trick actually, to force a group into sub-optimal circumstances and then use the result as proof the group is sub-optimal!

    The justifications were amazing – the largest and most traditional Christian church amongst whites even had fantastic logic all worked out as to how the Bible said that blacks were not actually human…

    It took a civil war and external pressure from elsewhere in the world to get whites (collectively as a group) to change their mind.

  6. Cognitive: of or pertaining to the the mental processes of perception, memory, judgement and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional and volitional processes.

    Cognitive dissonance: anxiety that results from simultaneously holding contradictory or incompatible attitudes, beliefs, or the like, as when one likes a person but disapproves of his her habits.

  7. I thnk that some people can get into a position form which they cannot accept another’s point of view (at least not in public) because their status is then shaken. The way I see it, there are two ways to control. One is through enough KRC –pan determinism, and the other is through force. By force I don’t mean just kicks and punches, I mean any way which is used to enforce control. This of course is usually an overt as it aims in reducing the other person’s self deteminism. A way that has been used in society is the ‘I know better than you” service fac. For one it can be enough to aquire a psychology diploma to -from then on- make others wrong and impose his beliefs regarding the brain, mind and spirit upon others.

    This can be done in Scientology too. Are there any masters of thinking? Any “always rights’ who always ‘speak the truth’? If the truth could be spoken, then one wouldn’t need auditing to discover it. If one seeks for answers, he should better seek them all in himself. That’s why SCN wasn’t meant to be -but became- an authoritarian subject. That is how Miscavige and others like him can impose themselves on others. I don’t blame Miscavige nor his likes because one experiences what he creates. You know, before Miscavige can do something of this sort to somebody, that somebody must agree to put Miscavige above him in terms of ‘rightness’ and ‘truthness’ etc. They think something like “Oh, Ron appointed him, so then he must always be right”. Yes, but this is not Scientology. Where has that “What is true, is what is true for you” point of view gone?

    Why do you expect from another to set you free. Is that freedom? How many people have gotten ahold of a book or a bulletin and audited each other like that, without expecting from another to do it to/for them?

    Geir (and some others I have known) has the diploma qualifications (OT 8) to rule over others with status. Yet, he doesn’t do it. For me, this is an indication that he is an actual OT. Instead of ‘being right’ and ‘speaking the truth’ he sits and discusses and can change his opinions too. He is -in my opinion- much freer than a person who needs to defend (and thus fix) his ideas, in order to appear right.

    1. Thanks.

      I used to despise the “status” attached to OT 8. Now I don’t care. Better that way. There is freedom in not giving a fuck.

      1. Isene: I used to despise the “status” attached to OT 8. Now I don’t care. Better that way. There is freedom in not giving a fuck.

        Hear, hear!

    2. For me, the fact that Geir does not rule over others with his OT 8 “status” is an indication that he is a normal human being, and considers himself as such.

      I believe this is much better, and less delusory, than a person who considers himself an “OT”, as defined by Scientology.

      I mean hey – we all have enough delusions as just our selves. There is certainly no need to take on Scientology’s delusions of OT for your self, as well.


  8. An important bit of information on cognitive dissonance:

    Within this theory, the person is made up of:


    It is specifically when these three go out of consonance, or harmony, that one experiences “dissonance”. It is this feeling of dissonance which is the most important thing to focus on. This feeling is intolerable for a human being.

    For instance, let’s say you are a pacifist, but you have been drafted into the Marines, given a gun and forced to kill people. The inner conflict that a pacifist would feel in this situation comes from his thoughts being in conflict with his behavior.

    If the person is forced to kill people every day by his superiors, and can not quit, and there is nothing he can do to resolve this dissonance, the pacifist will change his views (thoughts) to be more in line with his behavior (trained Marine killing machine) in order to reduce the cognitive dissonance he feels in his universe.

    Soon, the person will be able to change his views, and will feel good about killing people, and will no longer be a pacifist if he is forced to keep behaving as a Marine.

    This is the element of CONTROL which is used in Marine boot camp.

    And it is also the element of CONTROL that is used in the beginning stages of Scientology, as it happens. TRs, Objectives, The Purif, etc all use CONTROL to very high degrees. And a new Scientologist is taught that only aberrated people fight back against “good control”.

    Thus, with CONTROL, you can create a personality shift in an individual and make him into a Marine, or a Scientologist.

    Leon Festinger, the founder of cognitive dissonance theory, was publishing right around the time that Hubbard was coming out with the CCHs, and all his work on CONTROL. I believe that Hubbard used Festinger’s theory to create processes that would bring about personality shifts in people who had been recruited into Scientology. If you read Festinger’s early work, you will see many similarities with Hubbard writings on CCHs.

    When Prophecy Fails

    Festinger conducted his groundbreaking cognitive dissonance research at the University of Minnesota. In 1954, Festinger and two colleagues posed as cult members and infiltrated a cult group to test his cognitive dissonance theory. He had read a newspaper article concerning a Minneapolis woman that had supposedly received messages from superior alien beings. The aliens had warned the woman that a great flood would destroy the United States, and bring the end of the world.

    Festinger and his confederates successfully assimilated into the cult and regularly attended meetings. Cognitive Dissonance Theory predicted that most cult members would not change their belief or opinion about the woman if the predicted flood did not occur. According to the theory, most cult members would continue to faithfully believe in the woman, even when she was proven wrong. That was exactly what happened. Many cult members sold their possessions and quit their jobs in anticipation of the end of the world.

    Some members became disillusioned and quit the group when the predicted apocalypse did not occur. However, the majority of cult members remained loyal believers in the woman’s prophecy. Festinger cited this study as the basis for his Cognitive Dissonance Theory. His hypothesis had accurately predicted the cult member’s group behavior. Some members would abandon the woman and the cult, but the majority would grow stronger in their original belief even when the prophecy did not come true.

    It’s ironic that Festinger’s 1957 “A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance” publication would bring him more fame and recognition than Lewin ever achieved. Social psychology was Lewin’s expertise and Festinger was mostly disinterested in that field of psychology. Festinger’s dissonance theory revolutionized social psychology. In fact, it not only revolutionized behavioral era psychology, but it conquered it. Cognitive Dissonance Theory earned Festinger a conquistador status among his colleagues, and though his theory doesn’t dominate social psychology as it once did, it remains productive research theory for psychologists.

    By the way, the Minneapolis woman mentioned above who ran the cult was a former Dianeticist.


  9. I have gone through this with the military, because it is mandatory to get some trainning and ‘serve’ for a while, where I live. I never gave in though. I never accepted to become like that. Nevrtheless I gave myself a hard time hating it there 😛

    I think normal is a guy that adapts to his environment which is synonymous to ‘sheep’ the way I see it. So, I wouldn’t recommend it.

    My CCHs and Op Pro by Dup EP was awesome.

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