This is session number 013 of Influence Psychology and Persuasion podcast and this show is all about cognitive dissonance and how we can use it to improve our lives and outcomes dramatically.
This term refers to the situation where you have an internal conflict about your attitude, behaviours or a certain belief. Whenever you have this conflict, it is known as cognitive dissonance and it comes with a feeling of discomfort and in most cases the need to rationalise or reframe to realign those beliefs, thoughts, actions etc.
An example would be: people smoking (their behaviour) yet they know it causes cancer and other serious diseases (their cognition). The cognitive dissonance would then show when a person would try to rationalise, reframe or make it right for them. “I've always done it, and it gives me a timeout”
This is a theory that was presented by Leon Festinger in 1957. When he proposed this cognitive dissonance theory he explained that people want to remain consistent in their initial actions, and beliefs and this can give rise to irrational thinking and even maladaptive behaviour.
A fantastic study that was done by Leon Festinger when he was observing as a participant of a cult that believed the earth was going to be destroyed by a flood. Some of the extremely committed members of this cult had even given up their jobs and their homes to work for the cult full time. Festinger wondered what would happen to the members beliefs when the time arose and the flood did not happen. When the time did arise, some of the fringe members recognised that they had been misinformed or perhaps began building beliefs unnecessarily left the group. However, those more experienced or committed members began to reinterpret or re-frame the evidence to show that there were right all along. Even though before the event was to happen they were absolutely certain that the Earth would end through flood and that members of the cult would be taken away to safety.
Almost instantly, the most committed and experienced of the group fabricated a new justification of why the earth didn't flood or come to an end and this further compounded their belief.
This is session number 12 of the influence Psychology and Persuasion podcast. This show is all about Lazy Thinking.
Lazy thinking is responsible for so many critical thinking errors. Lazy thinking occurs because we need to limit our inputs and piece together our responses and choices based upon what we have done before and what has served us up to this point. Lazy thinking allows us to function normally, easily but it is defining our choices, decisions and lives as a whole. Action must be taken.
The psychological principle of lazy thinking, like most other principles certainly serves a purpose. Every day our life is full of lessons. Each of these lessons are stored and allow us to shortcut critical thinking by using these lessons at a later date. Sometimes we even package these lessons to allow us to come up with a seemingly rapid accurate gut feel. Here is where the problem lies.
Marketeers, sales professionals and even manipulators fully understand that we will go through most of our day on autopilot, lazily thinking and making decisions as we have done in the past.
This topic jumped out at me today whilst I was on the school run with the kids, I heard some mums talking about diet, and foods. One of them sounded extremely pleased that they purchased a microwaveable dinner that was gluten-free. The other one also responded in amazement, and clearly wanted to try some of this gluten-free microwaveable dinner. As it was gluten-free, it's obviously healthy isn't it? Nnow this isn't a show about diet, but the facts are this. Gluten is fine for most people, but for those who do suffer, the suffering can be quite intense. So a gluten-free option is certainly, an option. However, we come to think that foods that are fat-free, gluten free, sugarfree are the best options in all cases to choose regardless of our own dietary needs.
The lazy thinker would assume that if it didn't have one of the above ingredients in, therefore it must be the healthier choice. The critical, active thinker may be wondering if these items have been taken out what specifically has gone back in? Kknown neurotoxic sweeteners sometimes replace sugar, simply to have the label sugar free. Artificial thickeners are put in foods to replace fats. In most cases, fats that are beneficial to us replaced with thickeners that have no nutritional benefit whatsoever. But marketers get away with labelling something as fat-free, or even low-fat and make us want this more. Chips are meat free, it doesn't tell you anything.
Lazy brain, and lazy thinking affects us in so many ways. And it's time to step in and make a cognitive assessment of your brains thinking. Let me give you some more examples.
Lazy thinkers tend to be more selfish, and will use certain languages and make specific judgements based on their social situations and things that seem to fit at that time. Think about it for a minute, how many times have you thought about something after an event, and realised that your initial decision was a mistake. “ thinking about it now I can……….”
When a person is admired, or believed to be right in a particular subject. People also then believe more of what that person says, it seems that once a person has passed a validation test in some way or another. Then there other suggestions, comments and stories seem to be more plausible and believable. Manipulators can use this to set the scene. They can create a story or situation that they can prove to be true, and then follow it up with an illusion that you will simply adopt more easily.
This is session number 011 of the Influence Psychology and Persuasion podcast. Be careful what you expect. Expectation will sway your choices, decisions actions and behaviours. There are so many examples of this and on different levels too. For example, if you expect to have a rubbish day at work, then that's what your RAS (Reticular Activating System. See
There are so many examples of this and on different levels too. For example, if you expect to have a rubbish day at work, then that's what your RAS (Reticular Activating System. See this podcast for more on this) will see and experience.
However to add another example inline with the persuasion element I'll explain this principle in the buying and selling field. Sales people use and should use this.
Here's how it goes:
You and your partner go to look for a new mattress. While your shopping around to try a few and one really takes your fancy. The sale agent approaches. You ask "How much is this mattress?" "The deluxe medium firm is £1200. What is it you like about it?" The couple will now give their explanation and desire to buy this, but something very important has happened. The level of expectation has been set. The figure £1200 now have a tangible product and expectancy attached to it in their minds.
The level of expectation has been set. The figure £1200 now have a tangible product and expectancy attached to it in their minds. Here for the magic. The sales assistant can now say something like "The medium firm is a popular choice (Social Proof) and those people who like this mattress, love the Platinum version. would you like me to tell you about it and show it to you?" Who wouldn't? "This is the platinum version. There are twice as many springs for an unrivalled support, there is also the addition of a cool-tech top layer keeps you warm in the winter and prevents sweating in the summer. This mattress also comes with a 10-year shape warranty instead of 5 years like the rest of our mattresses. And the final and most major difference is that this comes with 2 cool tech pillows to guarantee the best nights sleep" So, at this stage the couple can see and appreciate all of those additions and they already have a bench mark of what they get for £1200. So what do you think they would price or should I say value this mattress at?