[ExI] Holding contradictory beliefs is very common

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Wed Apr 5 20:44:14 UTC 2023

On Wed, 5 Apr 2023 at 21:21, William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> Thanks! But if they say that a person can walk around with conscious cognitive dissonance and just ignore it with no consequences, I will disagree with them.  Dissonance is a feeling of conflict,and therefore there is no such thing as unconscious dissonance.  Dissonance only occurs when the conflict is conscious.  Anxiety is usually there, and that is something you physically feel.  I do think that your unconscious can overlook your conscious mind and produce some memory/belief that leaks into your conscious mind, like something trying to escape for repression a la Freud.  But the last time I looked (quite a while) repression still had no experimental evidence for it.  The idea of unconscious conflicts, the resolution of which was the goal of psychoanalysis, was that mental energy was tied up in the fighting ideas.  I don't think that idea has any physical basis.  Energy just doesn't sit there.  Neuron centers don't just idle like reverberating circuits, trying to get expressed.  bill w
> _______________________________________________

I didn't quote the complete article where they go into a bit more detail.
(And probably in the book the article comes from as well).
They say -
One is to follow the “it depends” strategy: You make a mental note
that your beliefs aren’t really contradictory. Instead, one belief
holds in one set of circumstances, and the opposite holds in other
circumstances. This has the benefit of being cognitively true.

So they do talk a bit about how the brain rationalises holding contradictions.
They probably explain more in their book, though it seems to be
intended for a popular audience rather than a science audience.


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