Cognitive Dissonance – 2/23 meeting

Last Thursday Miriam shared with us her most recent presentation entitled “ Cognitive Dissonance “ 

Miriam began by asking the room what their definition was of cognitive dissonance. One member shared their definition as; “ when you say one thing, but you do another “.  Cognitive dissonance can be defined as inconsistent thoughts and attitudes. Or as Miriam shared “ things that make my tummy cringe “.  I like that definition.  It can also be when you participate in something that goes against your beliefs or values. Doing this may cause anxiety, unease or stress in your life.

     Miriam shared that there have been events in her past that she has questioned, and she cringes at the fact that she sometimes falls for peer pressure. 

Some signs or symptoms of cognitive dissonance:

– it can lead to negative self-esteem 

– feeling uncomfortable before making a decision 

– feeling embarrassed or ashamed and afraid of reactions to what you have said.

– you may keep things to yourself to avoid strife 

– you may have external expectations 

-you may find yourself going along with things you don’t believe in 

– you may also find yourself walking away from unnecessary conflict 

This cognitive dissonance isn’t the same for everyone, and will depend on what you value.

Sometimes feeling this dissonance can lead to positive change and growth.

So, how can we reduce cognitive dissonance?

1) you can change your belief or value

2) change your actions and behavior 

3) you can change how you perceive your actions. Perceiving how your actions went, is just as important as how it went.

Try to be more aware if you are feeling a certain way, and resolve the situation.

Miriam gave a great example related to the steps above, when it comes to enjoying donuts. 

If you are troubled that you may be eating too many donuts, you could;

1) change your belief that you should not eat donuts 

2) change your actions and don’t eat donuts 

3) and change how you perceive the eating of the donuts 

I loved this presentation and always enjoy hearing from Miriam. I look forward to her next presentation! 

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