Cognitive Dissonance Essay

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Ion reviewing the theory of cognitive dissonance, and the clinical work which has been completed in order to shore up the weakness of Festinger's original theories, I find that Aronson's work holds a stronger application to the theory. While individuals often want to believe that they are logical and rational beings, mankind's history is filled with examples of the opposite.


If a logical, rational, and non-passionate evaluation of the Nazi's goals had been undertaken, WWII would never been started.
In the same way, some of mankind's greatest triumphs have been the result of one man's, or a small group of men's desires followed through with passion and effort which is also illogical, or irrational. Columbus' desire to find a route to the Far East by sailing west flew in the face of all known, rational belief systems regarding the world at that time. In the same way, the Wright brothers' relentless pursuit of flight was a dream that they uniquely held, in the face of others beliefs and other inventor's failures.
In the same way, Aronson concluded that mankind's belief systems and any resulting cognitive dissonance was not the result of logical inconsistency. He believed, and I believe mankind's overall historical pattern supports that mankind is not necessarily a logical being. Therefore any theory build on the foundation that men are a rational logical being is a theory built on a fallacial assumption. Aronson took this foundational understanding of cognitive dissonance and redirected it as a measure of mankind's psychological inconsistency rather than rational or logical inconsistencies. ...
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