Why You Should Know What Cognitive Dissonance Is
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Why You Should Know What Cognitive Dissonance Is

Just how dangerous is a closed mind?

Why You Should Know What Cognitive Dissonance Is

From the moment we're born, we immediately began to learn. We slowly formed our individual personalities and learned behaviors and truths about the world around us. As we got older, our personal experiences and the people around us shaped our own moral codes and ethical standards. Every development in our lives helped us decide what to believe in, what to stand for, and what we thought to be without a doubt true in our minds. But how often do we stop and ask ourselves just how "true" and right are our values and beliefs really are? When opposition strikes and we're forced to question our realities and behavior, we are presented with the inner turmoil called: cognitive dissonance.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2017%2F01%2F20%2F636204895805151030-853667352_636204895798276126982473630_dissonance.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=52&h=cd1198868eef87f6ac3cff00ed2a3c7eff90f5fd41369080b76a0e5cad7ce8b1&size=980x&c=3328325339 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2017%252F01%252F20%252F636204895805151030-853667352_636204895798276126982473630_dissonance.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D52%26h%3Dcd1198868eef87f6ac3cff00ed2a3c7eff90f5fd41369080b76a0e5cad7ce8b1%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3328325339%22%7D" expand=1]

Before you start to over think your whole life, allow me to break it down for you. The word cognitive means the act of thinking or understanding through experiences and senses, while dissonance means a clash or tension from lack of agreement or inconsistency. In simpler terms, cognitive dissonance is the uncomfortable mental stress we feel when we're confronted with opposing beliefs that conflict with our own. When we encounter a contradiction, we begin to questions ourselves, and that really doesn't feel good at all.

Any psychologist could go on for days about the hundreds of types and levels of cognitive dissonance, but I think this specific example is more than relatable to the world we live in right now. If you've ever wondered how our country became so divided and conflicted, this is a good way to start on the never-ending explanation of why. It's human nature for people to have a need for consistency and balance, so when we hear opposing sides or opinions or pretty much anything that doesn't go along with the things we've so strongly clung onto, it's almost a reflex for us to reject it or ignore it. But instead of feeling bad about shutting off like this, we justify ourselves and make excuses to feel better and consistent and right again.

The fact is we don't wanna be wrong, so we live in denial. And that right there is where stubbornness, ignorance, and close-mindedness meet to form a shit storm of unresolved issues and tensions between people with different views. What we don't realize is just how powerful our motives are to maintain mental consistency with the things we've stood for most our lives, and that motivation has led many of us to hatred and intolerance. Our minds actually don't wanna see things in any other way besides our own. Instead, we put down, we fight, we ignore, and we destroy for the sake of our own mental balance. Don't get me wrong- having strong beliefs you're willing to fight for is a beautiful thing, but if we're constantly changing and growing as life goes on who's to say our beliefs can't change and grow with us? In the unconscious fight against cognitive dissonance, or the uneasy feeling of being told our values are messed up, we've forgotten what's most important.

What this country was built on were mistakes that led to great change. We f*cked up so we could later get it right some day, so our kids and future generations would have a better life with more than we could've imagined for ourselves. The more we resist different opinions, the more we resist opening our minds to different schools of thought and codes of ethics and eye-opening evidence that we're humans and we get things wrong a lot, the more we hurt ourselves and derail the future of our country. When I learned about cognitive dissonance I learned about myself and the people around me, but most of all I learned how to actually let myself learn and be taught- over and over again. And that's a lesson we could all gain from if we would just put our weapons and guards down and simply allow ourselves to.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Haunted Houses For Halloween In New Jersey

The Top Scariest Haunted Houses In New Jersey


Residing in New Jersey enables you to participate in various activities, and everyone has a favorite. In New Jersey, Halloween is also celebrated in a spooky way. There are many scariest haunted houses in NJ to celebrate Halloween. If you want to confront your greatest fears, Halloween Scariest haunted houses are ideal.

Keep Reading... Show less

Leaving My Backpack In The Library

Views about society and the stranger sitting right across from me


As a college student, my backpack is an extension of myself in many ways. It contains my notes, pens, and computer vital for my success in college. It contains the snacks and water bottle I need to survive long days on campus. It also contains the "in-case" items that help put my mind at rest if I forgot something from home: extra hair ties, masks, and that backup-backup snack. With so much in my backpack important to me and my life on campus, it is no wonder that I can get apprehensive about it when it is not with me or in my line of sight. And that makes me wonder.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Cool Gadgets To Make Your Car Smart

Don't let this stop you from making your car smart. You can change the one you have using smart gadgets that transform your car into a smart car.


Cars are no longer just a mode of transport, where you only worry about the engine and how beautiful its interior is. These days, everyone wants to make their cars smarter, those with advanced technology systems. It makes sense for several reasons. It can make your vehicle more efficient and safer when you need to drive.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Inevitable Truth of Loss

You're going to be okay.


As we humans face loss and grief on a daily basis, it's challenging to see the good in all the change. Here's a better perspective on how we can deal with this inevitable feeling and why it could help us grow.

Keep Reading... Show less

'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' Film Review

Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson lead a tigher, more fun sequel to 2018's 'Venom'

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FmWuCgJmxo

When Sony announced that Venom would be getting a stand-alone movie, outside of the Tom Holland MCU Spider-Man films, and intended to start its own separate shared universe of films, the reactions were generally not that kind. Even if Tom Hardy was going to take on the role, why would you take Venom, so intrinsically connected to Spider-Man's comic book roots, and remove all of that for cheap action spectacle?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments