ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Social Psychology - Cognitive Dissonance: I Don't Believe It!

Updated on October 18, 2013

Conflicting Beliefs

Cognitive Dissonance happens when a person receives information which is incompatible with and conflicts with their already existing set of beliefs, values and perceptions.

A state of dissonance is caused when the person then challenges or is unable to accept the seemingly incompatible received information and they become more inclined to sway towards their own beliefs, no matter how false or incorrect, in order to fit in with their already preconceived perception of the world, rather than accept the true information at face value.

The phrase cognitive dissonance was actually coined in 1956 book When Prophecy Fails by Leon Festinger, a book about the followers of a UFO cult and a belief in an upcoming apocalypse.

Cognitive dissonance theory says that people have a tendency to try to rationalize the given information based upon their own set of values and beliefs, originating from their own experiences, providing seemingly reasonable explanations for the information rather than believing the seemingly impossible or difficult to believe, yet true, explanation actually given.

Conditioning Beliefs

We all live in a society where we are continuously being conditioned. That is not paranoia, it's fact. Whilst this isn't such a bad thing (protection of basic human rights) the conditioning does place limits on our ability to accept ideas, facts and phenomena which have not become common or mainstream knowledge.

We have been conditioned to live in a society where the normal thing to do is work a nine-to-five job, buy a home, have children, work to feed our families, pay our taxes then retire...

...but if we had been born 5,000 years earlier or even 5,000 years ahead then we would have been conditioned very differently in order to live in the environment that we would exist in.

In our day and age there is much alternative history that is not being taught in schools and many theories that are not common knowledge.

Indeed the education establishment only filters through information that would be considered a necessity to learn in order to get a skilled career in life and only certain relevant subjects are actually on the curriculum.

To Believe Or Not To Believe?

There are a lot of strange phenomena, unexplained mysteries and conspiracy theories in the world. We should remain aware that many of these unexplained phenomena and mysteries do remain unexplainable beyond conventional terms.

Although many have theorized about it and even one person experienced it first-hand and survived to tell the tale, there is still no official explanation for the phenomena that occurs at the Bermuda Triangle.

In addition we should remember that many conspiracy theories of the past have turned out to be true.

Some things just seem to be beyond reasonable explanation and the phenomena experienced at the Bermuda Triangle actually seems to indicate a violation of the laws of physics as we understand them.

Simply put, science does not explain everything. However, because we have been conditioned to accept science as fact we refuse to believe that phenomena such as that experienced at the Bermuda Triangle could actually be paranormal activity.

We are inclined to accept science as fact, even when real phenomena sometimes seems to prove it wrong.

The truth is that although science may be self-correcting indicated by reproducible results, there are still flaws in some theories and we certainly don't understand everything.

Attempting to rationalize is a normal human trait present in everyone and is sometimes a result of cognitive dissonance.

Examples of Cognitive Dissonance

Imagine being in a happy marriage for over twenty years.

As far as you are concerned everything has always been perfect and still is...

...then you wake up one day to find out that your wife or husband has been working as a double-agent for the whole twenty years and living a secret life and everything you know about them is a lie.

Would you be able to just accept it?

No, you wouldn't - you would go into a state of cognitive dissonance, disbelief and confusion*.

* Confusion can lead to hyper-suggestibility making a persons own rationalizations seem more believable, despite how illogical those rationalizations are.

Ecuador, Brazil and Mexico have declassified many official government documents that prove that the UFO phenomena is real.

Ecuador openly admit that UFO's are an advanced technology and are potentially extraterrestrial in origin.

However, despite many governments all over the world releasing their information many people all over the world refuse to believe that UFO's are real or an extraterrestrial technology - even though it was the public who fought to get the information out.

Relating to the above statement, many people refuse to believe the claims of government whistleblower Robert Lazar regarding Element 115 (Ununpentium), despite Russia officially announcing that they had created two stable isotopes of Element 115 and Ununpentium being added to the periodic table in 2003.

Element 115 (Ununpentium) have also recently been reconfirmed by another laboratory - see http://www.bubblews.com/news/1033754-element-115-ununpentium-confirmed-ufo039s-bob-lazar-and-aliens

By Sparkster

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • sparkster profile imageAUTHOR

      Sparkster Publishing 

      3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Marx, are you joking?!?! lolol. Whilst I have no doubt that many UFO's are indeed stealth military technology, there is also plenty of evidence which suggests that up to 5% of UFO's may be of extraterrestrial origin and many governments have declassified documents which confirm this... but that's not really what this hub (or the book by Leon Festinger) is about - the book was about a UFO cult who believed in an upcoming apocalypse and when it didn't happen they went into a state of 'cognitive dissonance' and ended up committing suicide. Aside from that, there is evidence to suggest that SOME (up to 5% as mentioned) UFO's come from an external source (i.e. outside of Earth).

    • profile image

      Marx 

      3 years ago

      Dear god....

      What is UFO? Flying object that cannot be identified in given situation because technology is obsolite, inaccurate etc. Perhaps Russians or Americans have developed new stealth technology which is far more advanced than detection or defence systems of some countries. There is no reason to believe it is not terrestrial.

    • profile image

      SandCastles 

      5 years ago

      Interesting.

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 

      6 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for the hub, I know a bit about this subject, and find it fascinating. Cognitive dissonance is an example of motivated reasoning. It is characterised by a state of arousal, which may be caused by anxiety about the internal conflict that causes it. It is a very powerful theory because it could describe how anxiety motivates a change in belief. This may have a great deal of relevance for explaining how people become religious.

    • sparkster profile imageAUTHOR

      Sparkster Publishing 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for the comments.

      Yes, UFO technology is officially very real. It may not be alien but I do personally believe that extraterrestrials are here. They may be inter-dimensional as you suggest, I have no idea.

      According to Betty Hill's star map they'e from Zeta Reticuli (could be misinfo/disinfo).

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      I use one theory, I only believe in the things I see. Some of the things I have seen was in groups , which proves I am not mad. UFO technology is real. I don,t think its alien though. I think they are trans-dimensional beings, meaning they do not travel any distance to get here. They just cross the dimensional divide.

    • colpolbear profile image

      colpolbear 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      This Hub is very true. I'll sometimes denounce something, think about it for a few seconds or minutes, and realize I never even bothered to think about the subject.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)