Cognitive dissonance is based on the idea that when two ideas are psychologically not consistent with each other, we change them and make them consistent. If the two conflicting ideas are deeply ingrained in our identity, this mental imbalance can become overwhelming and intoxicate our thoughts — and as a result we may believe even the most absurd conspiracy theories. Watch this video about the origins of this idea and its original research from 1954.
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DIG DEEPER with these top videos, games and resources:
Read about the meat paradox and how your brain wrestles with the ethics of eating animals in this piece by The Conversation.
Read a research paper on why reasoning is more strongly related to implausible than plausible conspiracy beliefs.
Watch an interview with the author of The Intelligent Trap on why smart people make dumb mistakes. Or read his book.
Read this overview on why people believe in conspiracy theories.
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01:08 The full story
01:38 Cognitive dissonance
02:41 The cult observation
03:17 Festinger’s assessment
04:41 What do you think?
05:04 Patron credits
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