Is conspiracy theory nothing more than cognitive dissonance?
Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding contradictory ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance
What is the motivational drive behind conspiracy? I’d say it is to ask questions, validate truth, challenge the unknown, suspect what is known in order to come to the conclusion that sometimes, Situation Normal is All F‘kd Up- SNAFU. Wired magazine had this to say,
Although we’re all vulnerable to cognitive dissonance – and the paranoid style has always been a loud presence in American politics – we seem to squander ever more time on worthless conversations about Obama’s birth certificate or the spurious link between autism and vaccines. After all, thanks to Google we can find “evidence” in support of practically any belief. If you can imagine the conspiracy theory, there is a website out there ardently promoting it, and a clan of fellow believers who share your peculiar obsession with fluoridated drinking water and the New World Order. http://derrenbrown.co.uk/blog/2010/08/psychology-conspiracy-theories/
I am pretty sure that cognitive dissonance is not paranoia. It is rather, a justifiable means of exploring what someone else defines as the truth. To say that it is worthless to seek out the President of the United States birth origin or find a connection with vaccine use and autism, I find rather appalling. Hardly a waste of time as a U.S. Citizen or for a parent of a child with autism.
Can cognitive dissonance be familial? I believe so. Last night our family went for a late night swim under some raindrops. There was a low ceiling and what was clearly an airplane to the adults, was not so obvious to one of the children who proclaimed, “Look a UFO!” We’ve talked about the possibility of UFO’s, aliens and the like, and in doing so I wonder if we did not preclude them to cognitive dissonance- we believe and so do they.
Throw religion into the mix. We are Catholic, conservative Republicans and so are our children. A product of upbringing or ?
The grandparents instilled cognitive dissonance and I suspect we are passing it on too. We justify good, bad, heaven, hell, what is acceptable, what is the norm, what is a conspiracy and what is reality. Is not uncomfortable by any means to put on the tinfoil hat, unless of course there is a lightening storm.
The idea of “sour grapes” comes from the fable The Fox and the Grapes by Aesop (ca. 620–564 BCE). The fox is unable to reach the grapes, and, experiencing cognitive dissonance, reduces that dissonance by believing the grapes are sour. This example follows a pattern: one desires something, finds it unattainable, and reduces one’s dissonance by criticizing it. Jon Elster calls this pattern “adaptive preference formation.” -wiki
Maybe “adaptive preference formation” is nothing more than the brain justifying what it can’t have or processing what it is that we believe, or want to believe.
I happen to like a good conspiracy. It helps me stay on my toes, to not take things for granted, to question, to learn, to share insights. Too not be scared when a UFO lands on my farm!
The question is whether there is a parallel to be made with the individual level, where society would also influence the shape of the phenomenon, so that the interaction is also mutual at the sociological level? For instance, during the 1896-97 airship wave in United States (and Canada), the phenomenon was first described as strange lights in the sky, but it was reported by the press, nationwide, as “airships”. Could the social expectations to see an airship in the sky influenced the phenomenon so that it took an airship shape in the days and months that ensued? http://parasociology.blogspot.com/
Surely someone can come up with a theory for anything, but numerous conspiracy theories have come true.
The JFK assassination plot, aliens crash landing at Roswell, the 9/11 truth movement and charges of government surveillance are all an indelible part of our pop culture landscape and are by and large, total bullshit. So where does your average conspiracy buff go to learn about shadowy plots that aren’t pure tinfoil hattery? Look no further than: http://www.cracked.com/article_15974_7-insane-conspiracies-that-actually-happened.html#ixzz0vqRVK921
Valkyrie and MKULTRA actually did exist, maybe they still do with different players today.
There is no conspiracy behind the fact that you have to, “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” –Lucille Ball, actress and comedienne, born today in 1911.
Does cognitive dissonance allow for a conspiracy that it’s okay to love someone else, convinced that they love you back, while you love yourself?
I love it, and a good conspiracy too.
Open wide, say ahhh and check out more articles from Ahrcanum!
Shaking, rattling and rolling into the conspiracy, truth and science of EARTHQUAKES, VOLCANO’s, HAARP, EISCAT, Tesla, etc., find more related articles at https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/earthquakes-haarp/
Help spread the word. SUBSCRIBE NOW and Follow us on Twitter (by clicking in the side margin) or sign up at http://twitter.com/ so you can get the latest updates as soon as they’re posted. Make sure to re-tweet, so all your friends get the heads up too.