Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cognitive Dissonance

Do you know what is cognitive dissonance?

Based on wikipedia, cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The "ideas" and "cognitive" in question may include attitudes and beliefs, and also the awareness of one's behavior. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes,beliefs, and behaviors or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes,beliefs and behaviors.

Let's make this simple.

You are smart fresh graduate who has just completed study in Petroleum Engineering. You are assigned to determine which side will make more profit.There are site A and site B. Using your knowledge, you find out that site A has big potential than site B. However, the others who have worked longer in Petronas say that site B is better.

What will you do?Stick to your stand and convince Petronas to invest in site A?Or will you agree with the others that site B is better because they have more experience in this area?

Most people, would follow the others.

That is because, we don't want to be alone.

Situation 1
What if you manage to convince Petronas(site A),and then suddenly there's no oil at all. You will be blamed by your own self. If you with the others(site B), you are not alone if Petronas want to blame you.

That sounds very comfortable isn't it?
Situation 2
What happen if suddenly you and the others get fired for choosing site B?While, if you choose site A and it contains more oil- you will get promotion.

This situation happen many times in our daily life,right?

Cognitive dissonance is not good.If you know you are right, why would you follow others who are wrong?

We just want to be safe by being with others, right?

Let us take smoking as an example.We know that smoking is unhealthy.But why many still smoke?They want to follow the others who smoke.They are stick to the culture that smoking will make you look so cool.

Women expose their hair just to look beautiful.That is what they believe in television.

Throw those stupid ideas. Be yourself.Live well my friends!

1 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

I want to be myself. I don't choose site A, nor site B. I choose both because I've never heard of cognitive dissonance. :)