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cognitive dissonance

Cognitive dissonance (a phrase coined in the book When Prophecy Fails, by Dr. Leon Festinger) describes the mental discomfort that a person feels when faced with two diverse values – the reality of a situation and the moral belief system of the person collide. When this occurs, the person must make alterations to one or the other in order to regain his equilibrium. According to Dr. Festinger theory, “people engage in a process he termed “dissonance reduction?”, which can be achieved in one of three ways: lowering the importance of one of the discordant factors, adding consonant elements, or changing one of the dissonant factors. This bias sheds light on otherwise puzzling, irrational, and even destructive behavior.”

"So, using the theory of cognitive dissonance, we can understand that through popular culture, any mass of crazed, violent, hungry people may be considered no longer human. Members of the military, police forces and guards can distance themselves from violent actions by reprogramming their moral compasses and aligning them with the adjusted reality that it’s okay to kill women and children and the hungry, because they are sub-human. They are to be dispatched quickly and efficiently to quell chaos and return to a more comfortable situation." (external link)

See Also

False Gods

Page last modified on Thursday 13 of December, 2012 05:07:49 MST