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Antrax
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09 Sep 2019, 12:40 pm

I recently picked up Jonathan Haidt's "The Righteous Mind," and having read only just over half of it, felt that its thesis and conclusions bore discussion.

Jonathan Haidt proposes that people make judgments intuitively and come up with the reasons later. He uses this to explain how different political groups always think they are right, while those that disagree with them are wrong. He uses a variety of psychological experimental examples to validate this.

One passage in particular describes how the brain responds to information it likes versus information it dislikes. He posits when the brain finds information it intuitively likes it goes "Can I believe this is true?" and looks for any evidence supporting this belief. When the brain finds information it intuitively dislikes it goes "Must I believe this is true?" and looks for any evidence that discredits it.

Intuitively I feel this idea is correct, as it aligns with my observations and beliefs. Rationally I can pull on evidence of confirmation bias and the backfire effect.

I'm curious if anyone will argue the other side?


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Fnord
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09 Sep 2019, 12:58 pm

It's called "Cognitive Dissonance".

Cognitive dissonance theory has a long and esteemed history in social psychology.  As originally formulated (Festinger, 1957), cognitive dissonance is induced when a person holds two contradictory beliefs, or when a belief is incongruent with an action that the person had chosen freely to perform.  Because this situation produces feelings of discomfort, the individual strives to change one of the beliefs or behaviors in order to avoid being inconsistent.  Hypocrisy is a special case of cognitive dissonance, produced when a person freely chooses to promote a behavior that they do not themselves practice.

Source:
This APA article.


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LoveNotHate
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09 Sep 2019, 5:09 pm

Intuition over Reason makes people angry at a blackjack table.

Other players think, "you're playing wrong", and "causing them to lose".

Image


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Fnord
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09 Sep 2019, 5:26 pm

LoveNotHate wrote:
Intuition over Reason makes people angry at a blackjack table.  Other players think, "you're playing wrong", and "causing them to lose"...
Like any three-year-old who cries "Look what you made me do!"


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Antrax
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09 Sep 2019, 5:36 pm

Fnord wrote:
It's called "Cognitive Dissonance".

Cognitive dissonance theory has a long and esteemed history in social psychology.  As originally formulated (Festinger, 1957), cognitive dissonance is induced when a person holds two contradictory beliefs, or when a belief is incongruent with an action that the person had chosen freely to perform.  Because this situation produces feelings of discomfort, the individual strives to change one of the beliefs or behaviors in order to avoid being inconsistent.  Hypocrisy is a special case of cognitive dissonance, produced when a person freely chooses to promote a behavior that they do not themselves practice.

Source:
This APA article.


While cognitive dissonance is a related phenomenon this is actually more general. People make a snap judgment intuitively and then use their reasoning to back it up. No contradiction ever occurs, because they never think they might be contradicted in the first place.


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Fnord
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09 Sep 2019, 6:20 pm

Antrax wrote:
While cognitive dissonance is a related phenomenon this is actually more general. People make a snap judgment intuitively and then use their reasoning to back it up. No contradiction ever occurs, because they never think they might be contradicted in the first place.
What you describe is the subjective interpretation of ConDis -- no one ever believes they have it, just as most bigots never seem to believe they are bigoted.  The objective definition I provided (from the American Psychiatric Association, no less) is the one that matters most.


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techstepgenr8tion
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09 Sep 2019, 10:55 pm

The conscious often tends to be the press-secretary for the unconscious and we backward-rationalize quite a bit.

I think as far as Haidt's stuff is concerned I've liked a lot of his thoughts on Durkheim, the alerts it gives to non-theistic religious patterns playing themselves out in culture, and his reinforcement of the idea that it's institutional disconfirmation that keeps our education system working, that people don't have enough objectivity to keep our institutions going in a healthy manner without it other people constantly testing their ideas - including the ones they hold sacred.


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