Bob Tiede suggested that we need to Check Your Dissonance at the Door in his blog  giving the headlines. He writes that dissonance:

  • occurs when you think you’re coming across in one way but people see you in a totally different way
  • works the other way around, too: it occurs when you think you perceive someone else accurately, but the other person doesn’t agree
  • makes a person stop thinking “What can this person do for me?” and start wondering, “What is this person planning to do to me?”
  • is a common culprit in work disputes
  • greatest single cause is fact that people behave their worst when they feel most powerless
  • keeps you from reaching people and it keeps other people from reaching you.

For example, why is it that people who smoke continue to do so knowing how bad it is for them? What drives people to committing adultery even though they inherently believe this is wrong? What’s the outcome of this contradiction in the mind? In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who

  • holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time
  • performs an action that is contradictory to their beliefs, ideas, or values
  • is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas or values.

In his book A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, Festinger explained, “Cognitive dissonance can be seen as an antecedent condition which leads to activity oriented toward dissonance reduction just as hunger leads toward activity oriented toward hunger reduction. It is a very different motivation from what psychologists are used to dealing with but, as we shall see, nonetheless powerful.” For more information click here

Download this COGNITIVE DISSONANCE – the story