Cognitive dissonance (CD) is not just a fancy term for confusion, it is a very valuable tool used against us to control our perceptions. CD is essentially the discomfort caused by two conflicting thoughts and behaviors.
When CD is heaviest, people tend to ignore when a person’s actions don’t match their words. The leading method used in CD to explain such discomfort is justification. A loved one snaps at you for no reason and you dismiss it as them having a bad day. That is CD in action.
Have you ever witnessed an innocent cashier or clerk being chewed out by a customer for no reason? Most people turn a blinds eye, justifying their silence with the bystander effect-the belief that someone else will jump in and deescalate the issue.
Why do people suffer from CD and the bystander effect?
Most are unaware of social conditioning, a construct whereby humanity is taught to behave in certain ways under various circumstances. We could call it brainwashing, but that is another piece of the CD puzzle altogether and beyond the scope of this introduction. I will expand on brainwashing in future postings.
The subconscious is conditioned to ignore uncomfortable situations as long as it isn’t directly affecting the person. The CD kicks in and justifies bad behavior, usually with the familiar “bad day” excuse. Let me share a secret - the person who is attacking you or the cashier for no reason just showed their true colors.
Narcissism does not discriminate!
Most people believe the people who are nice to others the majority of the time, yet angry and bitter some of the time, are either having a bad day or suffering from a disorder of some type. Truth is, their behavior is being manipulated by unseen forces and their brains have been programmed to behave that way. More about this manipulation in the future.
CD plays a multifaceted role in society and it is also a favorite tool of the devil to trick everyone into believing what is false is true. The spiritual battle between good and evil consists of a lot of CD. CD is part of the deception we live in today.
How CD is a Tool to Control Perception
When under a cloud of heavy CD, people will always go along to get along, even when it feels wrong. They will believe whatever they are told and convince themselves they didn’t see what they saw. Or others will tell them they didn’t see what they saw. This leads to a narcissistic “out of sight, out of mind” technique that will cause poor short term memory.
Our perceptions are manipulated daily by television and media platforms. Things such as these compete for our attention to distract us from truth and faith. The induction of CD happens in various ways, but once aware of it, we can stop to question everything we see and hear. What we perceive is not always accurate and there is humor in CD as well.
Perception management is used in marketing, and it uses the “out of sight, out of mind” part of CD to lure customers. It is relatively harmless depending on a person’s opinion about the product being advertised. One way to explain how CD is used in perception management is when the food items being advertised on television do not match the actual product in person.
For a textbook definition of CD, you can visit and follow the Cognitive Dissonance space on Quora.
Once you know, you know…
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