Cognitive Dissonance

A condition of anxiety or internal conflict which arises when new information, or pressure from other people, is in conflict with an opinion which has already been settled, or an action which has already been taken.

Possible responses include a deliberate attempt to explain away the new information, or to block it out. If this fails, rationalisation may allow the person to come to terms with the decision by deciding that it was all right, after all—coping with the unbearable by learning to like it.

Ultimately, there remains the risk, or possibility, of switching—calibrating—suddenly to a new position.C139


Related entries:

Wishful Thinking, Diplomatic Lie, Galley Skills, Special Pleading.

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David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was a cultural historian and economist, based in London, England. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a pioneer of post-growth economics, and a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, 'Lean Logic' and 'Surviving the Future', published posthumously in 2016. These in turn inspired the 2020 launches of both BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong's feature film about Fleming's perspective and legacy - 'The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?' - and Sterling College's unique 'Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time' online courses. For more information on all of the above, including Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

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