Saturday, October 11, 2008

Behavioral Science Saturday.

So, I've been studying for the NCE. Today I thought it would be fun to talk a bit today about social psychology. Sweet Baboo would agree with me, that good old SC is fun stuff.
So my question to you today is, how sure are you, how really sure are you, about who you're going to vote for come November? How certain are you that your reasons are based on facts?

Are you really so decisive?

You know, you might just actually be trying to minimize cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is the incomfortable feeling you have when you have two facts in mind, but they contradict one another.

Such as: I crave a De Sota 2-piece wetsuit. They are pretty expensive, and it makes more sense to just stick to swims that I can do sleeveless. I'm switching jobs. We should economize.

But I really, really want a De Sota 2-piece wetsuit. So, I could minimize cognitive dissonance by saying something, like, this one will be much more comfortable, so I'll use it more often, so in the end, it will be cheaper per use. Eventually, the longer I own it, the more I will justify my decision, and ignore ANY evidence that contradicts my decision.

You might call this "justifying". (We do this with athletic gear. You know we do)

Read more here:
Interesting note from this page: People who are involuntarily exposed to information that increases dissonance are likely to discount that information, either by ignoring it, misinterpreting it, or denying it.

Well, okay, maybe not. Maybe you're just a conformist.
Read about the Asche conformity experiments here:
Interesting note from this page: Even if only 1 confederate voices a different opinion, participants are less likely to conform...This finding illuminates the power that even a small dissenting minority can have.

No? Well, then, maybe you just do what you're told, such as in the Milgram Experiments:

Intersting note from the reading: ...65 percent (26 of 40)[1] of experiment participants administered the experiment's final [lethal] 450-volt shock to the other person...Only one participant steadfastly refused to administer shocks before the 300-volt level.
(Note also that in replications since then in different settings and even countries, results were pretty consistant. Scary, huh?)

So Again, I return to my original question:

are you really sure you know and believe what you think you know and believe?

You're welcome for any ensuing cognitive dissonance. No need to thank me, I'm just here to help.


1 comment:

  1. Actually I have also been lusting after a De Sota 2-piece wetsuit. Thanks for the tips on getting me over the hump and making the purchase . . . maybe.


Comments containing links to commercial websites from people with invisible profiles are deleted immediately. Spammers are immediately deleted.


 I'm no longer involved in multisport or endurance sports. I've started my own business, a psychotherapist specializing in anxiety d...