Speculations on a privileged state of cognitive dissonance

Montell, Conrad (2001) Speculations on a privileged state of cognitive dissonance. [Journal (Paginated)]

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This paper examines two commonly held and conflicting cognitions in the modern world, each based on a belief vital to the individual's sense of self, both maintained in what is here considered as a chronic state of dissonance. This psychological inconsistency consists of an inherent practical belief in the goodness of empirical knowledge and a culturally-developed transcendent belief denying, or at least mitigating, empirical evidence about the finite nature of individual life and affirming a counter-empirical belief in supernatural: supra-cause-and-effect forces that influence life. I argue that since both beliefs are highly resistant to change, they lead to an impasse that individuals in diverse cultures have borne and been motivated to maintain. They have borne it, as I hope to show, because the consonant “cure” has proved to be more discomforting than the dissonant condition.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:cognitive dissonance, religious behavior, imagination, evolution, language
Subjects:Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
Psychology > Social Psychology
ID Code:2388
Deposited By:Montell, Conrad
Deposited On:27 Jan 2003
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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