I recently read an article by Elliott Aronson and Carol Tarvis entitled "Cognitive Disonance in a Pandemic". Unfortunately I was not able to post the article to Facebook, however I would like to talk a little about decision making and the role of cognitive dissonance as it relates to our current crisis or pandemic. . Cognitive dissonance may occur when there is a conflict with in an individual. It may be that their behavior is not consistant with their core values or beliefs. This may occur when an individual holds two beliefs that are opposing and contradict each other. The internal comfort that the individual feels needs to be resolved in some manner so that the person can begin to experience more comfort or relief, One example I heard is that we often may need to "explain away", or rejecting information that is not consistent with our current belief or actions despite the validity or accuracy of the information. Currently many people are suspect of scientific information regarding the corona virus. Many of us may be perplexed regarding the behavior of others and wonder why these intelligent people completely disregard scientific data and even question the validity of accuracy. Aronson and Tarvis while discussing this issue use the word "hoax" regarding the belief that many of us have developed to help them deal with their anxiety regarding the situation. The actual data does not appear to support the concept that Covid-19 is a hoax. It does reflect that there have been over 500,000 fatalities worldwide and of course this is only a small percent of the illness and physical suffering that has been caused by this disease. We all have personal needs and desires and would like for those to be met. We need socialization involvement, joyful experiences, as well as the need for safety and security. What happens when these conflicting needs erupt within us, and which one of these needs takes precedence. How do we adjust our thinking so that we can do what we want and feel comfortable. Is there a consequence to ourselves and others when we choose to ignore existing data that does not support our current belief or decision.
Decision Making and Cognitive Dissonance
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