Values, Morals, Standards, Rule of Law…Posted: November 15, 2012
Values, Morals, Standards, Rule of Law…
The theory of cognitive dissonance in social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to create a consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant elements.
People tend to seek consistency in their beliefs and perceptions. So what happens when one of our beliefs conflicts with another previously held belief? The term cognitive dissonance is used to describe the feeling of discomfort that results from holding two conflicting beliefs. When there is a discrepancy between beliefs and behaviors, something must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance.
In other words the entire notion of cognitive dissonance is summed up in its definition. “As a state of psychological conflict or anxiety resulting from a contradiction between a people’s simultaneously held beliefs or attitudes.”
Cognitive dissonance is concerned with an incompatibility in the relationship between two cognitions. This theory, first proposed by Leon Festinger, states that people need to maintain consistency among their beliefs, attitudes, and behavior. Contradicting cognitions serve as a driving force that compels the mind to acquire or invent new beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, in order to reduce the amount of dissonance (conflict) between cognitions and bring them back into a consistent relationship.
Although alternative interpretations of the process have been put forward, the phenomenon has proved reliable. Therefore, it appears that people lack integrity when faced with this type of inconsistency, preferring to adjust their stated beliefs or attitudes than to admit that they were wrong.
A mature person, on the other hand, one united in mind and body centered on purposes of truth, beauty, goodness, and true love, would be expected to show greater integrity.
Dissonance is most powerful when it is about our self-image. Feelings of foolishness, immorality, and so on (including internal projections during decision-making) are dissonance in action.
If an action has been completed and cannot be undone, then the after-the-fact dissonance compels us to change our beliefs. If beliefs are moved, then the dissonance appears during decision-making, forcing us to take actions we would not have taken before.
We believe that the majority of our nation is in the process of some form of cognitive dissonance. We evidence this by identifying certain patterns of behavior, the well-being of the people, and a close look at what is causing the disorder within the society.
Therefore, what pattern of behavior is perhaps the most prevalent now that is noticeable and reported on by our biased media every day? We would venture to say that there is a lot of apathy among the population. Something that the expert existentialist philosopher Søren Kierkegaard would identify as people following in “herd fashion.”
In addition, we believe that just about the entire national society are living the status quo; literally, a Latin term meaning the current or existing state of affairs. Furthermore, it could be argued that the people within the society are feeling blasé, and not really giving a hoot about anything.
As for the well-being of the people as being extremely apprehensive insofar as from a medical dictionary it is defined as a medical condition marked by intense apprehension or fear of real or imagined danger. This definition is for the word, anxiety, and is characterized by nervousness, worry, unease, angst, and fear.
Most of these symptoms are manageable except when any two or more are in conflict with each other, thus causing dis-ease or disorder within an individual’s life. We consider this supposition to be true when one becomes aware of the fact that prescriptions for anti-depressants have soared above 400 percent in the previous 20 years as well as medications associated with “General Anxiety Disorders” have been and remain the number one most prescribed drug in America.
On the Docket: We will be spending some time investigating the causes of this phenomenon therefore we anticipate a multi-part series. Moreover, we suggest that given the relative youth of our country, current lack of leadership, and distrust within all levels of government that we accept the notion that this is an embodiment of the change in America’s values, morals, ethics, rule of law, and with whom that are doing the greatest damage.