“In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. This discomfort is triggered by a situation in which a belief of a person clashes with new evidence perceived by that person. When confronted with facts that contradict personal beliefs, ideals, and values, people will find a way to resolve the contradiction in order to reduce their discomfort.” – Wikipedia
Based on this definition, cognitive dissonance creates mental stress, therefore, some pain. I would add to this definition that the beliefs, ideas, or values need to be important for the individual, otherwise the effect won’t be that impactful. I’d wish to remind here the Burdian’s ass paradox (ass as an animal) where a donkey died because it was equally hungry and thirsty and it was placed at equal distances between hay and water. The donkey just couldn’t decide what it wants first.
We face contradictory ideas all day long, especially in this social media era, but we aren’t in that cognitive dissonance all the time because we don’t care about most of those things. But when we care, it hurts to be in that state if it’s not a personal decision (I sometimes intentionally go to a cognitive dissonance state to better understand some things, but since it’s my decision, it’s not that hurtful).
How often do you find yourself in cognitive dissonance and how hurtful it is?