Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cognitive assonance

Cognitive dissonance is the distress and confusion that sane people experience when they discover that they are holding two beliefs which contradict each other.

We need a word which expresses the opposite of that for people who hold contradictory beliefs while experiencing no distress or confusion whatsoever, either because they don't understand the contradiction or because they are actively ignoring it since both beliefs serve greater ideals (using the word loosely) which they cannot bear to have examined.

A particular subset of Americans justify their ideal of reducing the power of government through the belief that their government is incompetent, ill-informed, slow to act, and clumsy when it does act.

The same people justify their ideal of freely bearing arms through the belief that their government is supernaturally competent, omniscient*, swift to act, and brutally efficient when it does act.


* Not that they would know the word, generally.

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Blogger Zhoen said...

Dissonance deafness. Or simple willful blindness.

July 28, 2013 at 6:39:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Anonymous Chi said...


August 20, 2013 at 2:05:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Bob Foster said...

Others have taken the tack that, as cognitive dissonance causes pain, so cognitive assonance should cause pleasure. E.g., Whichever definition you choose, we need a name for the other definition.

February 10, 2016 at 10:51:00 p.m. GMT+1  

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