Cognitive dissonance is uncomfortable emotions and feelings, caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously, both are of equal priority and importance... but, which cannot be valid at the same time. Underlying the concept of cognitive dissonance, is our motivation to reduce dissonance by changing our perspectives, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours; or by justifying or rationalizing them. Cognitive dissonance is one of the most potent and most influential disruptors of a healthy and balanced human psyche (i.e. a mindset in equilibrium), that frequently results in the experience of severe stress.

Cognitive dissonance occurs when we perceive a logical inconsistency in our believes, when one idea actually implies the opposite of another. We frequently experience dissonances accompanied by feelings and emotions of guilt, anger, resentment, frustration or embarrassment (toxic emotions) that eventually develops into a persistent guilt-shame-fear cycle. Apart from developing active mind defences, it also give rise to a perspective and attitude of "sour grapes" - derived from the fable The Fox and the Grapes by Aesop (620–564 BC), where the fox decides that the grapes, he is unable to reach, are probably not ripe enough to eat anyway - that reflects an active cognitive dissonance manifestation... first, desiring something and then criticizing it, because it seem to be unattainable in this particular context, condition or circumstance.

A very powerful cause of cognitive dissonance is an idea in conflict with a fundamental element of our self-concept, such as "I am a good person" or "I made the right decision". The anxiety that comes with the possibility of having made a bad decision, can lead to rationalizations... the tendency to create additional reasons or justifications to support our initial choices. For example... A person who just spent too much money on a new car that s/he actually cannot afford, might decide that the new vehicle is much less likely to break down than his/her old car and therefore much safer to drive, especially with the present level of crime in the country. This belief may or may not be true, but it would at least reduce dissonance and make the person feel much better about his/her decision. Another more subtle example of a possible cognitive dissonance, is the abbreviation KISS.

Cognitive dissonance is a real menace when it comes to any harmonious, balanced and integrated human dynamic system, because it often leads - when left unattended - to...
Key Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which indicate the discomfort we feel when a discrepancy exists between what we already know or belief to be true, and new information or interpretations to the contrary.

Cognitive dissonance isn't something that "just suddenly appear" in our umwelt and impact negatively on our psyche. Sometimes it is an initial positive aspect or component, which - as time goes by and things change - may gradually develop into something different or more sinister. Therefore, the primary source of cognitive dissonance isn't what is taking place in our environment, BUT it is the direct result of our unwillingness, inability and reluctance to maintain our environmental noise filter to accommodate changes that is taking place. To illustrate this, please consider the following...

We all live in what is firmly becoming known as the “Global Village”. Thanks to the advances made by the World Wide Web and technological developments; the world - as we know it - is getting “smaller” in terms of communication mediums. Whilst this is fantastic for business, school assignments and research, it also means that the underbelly of society and the evil that abounds, is also that much closer. As a matter of fact, today computers, the internet and cellular phones (e.g. MixIt) makes it much easier for naive individuals (especially children) to become targets and victims of cyber bullying, abuse, “predators” and manipulations.

Key Keeping the above in mind, is the internet...
  • useful?,
  • a source of evil?,
  • assist with tedious tasks?,
  • easy way to commit fraud?,
  • improve communications?,
  • exploit people?, ...etc.
We feel anxious when we are "torn" between desires or urges toward certain actions - on the one hand - and moral or social restrictions on the other. In some cases, our anxieties may attach itself to an object that represents the inner conflict by means of symbolization. For example... When an individual feels anxious around money, it might be the result of being "torn" between a desire to steal and the believe that stealing is wrong. Money then becomes a symbol for the inner conflict between doing what is considered right and doing what s/he wants (e.g. experience anxiety regarding the individuality/conformity cycle as related to his/her locus of control).

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