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Thread: Cognitive dissonance

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Cognitive dissonance

    Simply put, it means that a sane person cannot hold two conflicting ideas or perceptions in his (or her) brain at the same time.

    You cannot think of yourself as both clever and stupid at the same time. One of the conflicting ideas (cognitions) will have to go. To reduce dissonance you might edit memories, censor your sensory perception, re-focus attention - until one of the two conflicting ideas are removed. You will see / hear / feel / smell / remember things only as long as they are congruent (in line with) the belief you choose to accept.

    Seeing is not believing - but rather: believing is seeing: We can only see what we already believe.
    I tripped across this concept yesterday and woke up this morning with a whole new understanding of the world.

    No. Not that "Meaning of life, the universe and everthing" type undertanding. Rather, a better understanding of why people think and do the things they do. The knock-on effects are quite amazing.

    For example, it explains why a smile is a better selling tool than technical competence. How can you distrust a person that you like? So Technical Joe has to go.

    So I was wondering if anyone felt like exploring cognitive dissonance and how it affects our lives. I know it sounds heavy but it could be fun and rather useful.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Email problem Chris B's Avatar
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    Cognitive dissonance

    I find this topic could be useful to discuss, especially looking at it from a sales point of view...

    Now, wat would happen if the technical person has a nice smile and just a hint of peoples skills.?.?
    I think that is a recipe for a selling machine that not even the TERMINATOR can stop...

    After all, sales is the one thing all businesses base their success on and if you can get that edge then you can only go up from there.

    Chris B
    Carpe diem, all the way!

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    Silver Member Candy Bouwer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Alcock
    I tripped across this concept yesterday and woke up this morning with a whole new understanding of the world.

    No. Not that "Meaning of life, the universe and everthing" type undertanding. Rather, a better understanding of why people think and do the things they do. The knock-on effects are quite amazing.

    For example, it explains why a smile is a better selling tool than technical competence. How can you distrust a person that you like? So Technical Joe has to go.

    So I was wondering if anyone felt like exploring cognitive dissonance and how it affects our lives. I know it sounds heavy but it could be fun and rather useful.
    ah ha but what of the phrase of cognitions - multi task and not just in the physical. Brain gymnastics - and secondly in the biblical sense we are asked to believe in something that we can not see. In evidence there are millions of people who believe. Are they all insane?

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    Bronze Member Alan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Alcock
    For example, it explains why a smile is a better selling tool than technical competence. How can you distrust a person that you like? So Technical Joe has to go.
    This is something i have always believed, but at the same time you have to have an acceptable level of technical competency otherwise no matter how nicely you smile the business will still not be yours. People are also far more tolerant of mistakes that are made with people that smile nicely.
    Candy as far as insanity and religion are concerned that is a whole debate on its own.
    Remember the Ark was built by Amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals.
    Business isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.

    Marine Aquariums SA

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    Silver Member Candy Bouwer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan
    This is something i have always believed, but at the same time you have to have an acceptable level of technical competency otherwise no matter how nicely you smile the business will still not be yours. People are also far more tolerant of mistakes that are made with people that smile nicely.
    Candy as far as insanity and religion are concerned that is a whole debate on its own.
    I agree with you Al - a smile goes a long way whichever way you look at it but it's not just a pretty face that gets the job done. I also agree that a degree of trust also come with a smile but so does a wolf in sheeps clothing.
    as far as the other debate...also a whole nother ball and one that could get far to technical.
    "NETWORKING" is a "CONTACT" sport!"
    Alcocks Electrical Entomological Hygiene

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    So let's look at this a bit closer.

    What we are talking about here is the subconcious mind - a vast super computer operating without our concious awareness.

    Every day we collect concious data and our subconcious mind files this all away, complete with an index of links that create our mental framework of perceived reality.

    Now if we hold a thought or concept strongly in our concious mind, this is filed as something more important than a passing thought. Holding the thought repeatedly re-inforces it as something not to be tampered with.

    Our subconcious now has to ensure that all these bits of information are in harmony and will reshuffle information to achieve this. If two concepts clash, the more important concept is retained and the lessor concept altered to remove the clash. The fact that the perceived lesser concept is still the truth in the real world is now irrelevant. From our point of view, this manipulated data is our new reality.

    Much of this filing and perception modification happens during sleep. Hence a significant cause of restless nights is when two equally "important" concepts clash and our subconcious is trying to resolve the issue.

    This all affects much of our concious behaviour which ultimately affects our actual reality.

    One of the best examples of this chain of events is in the success of "The Power of Positive Thinking" - now also known as "Mindpower".

    The concept that by conciously thinking more positively - finding the opportunity in every challenge - we get more positive results was first put forward by Dale Carnegie in the 1920's. The beneficial effects of positive thinking has developed growing recognition to the point where it now enjoys universal acceptance.

    However, whilst those early adopters new it worked, they did not understand why it worked.

    Cognitive dissonance. A powerful force in our lives that ultimately determines our future as a projection of our current perceived reality.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Administrator I Robot's Avatar
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    Great. Feel like I've had a heavy breakfast.

    Now that I don't know if my perception of reality is real, maybe some everyday examples might lighten the mood.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Administrator
    Great. Feel like I've had a heavy breakfast.
    Sorry.

    I have one particular sale that sticks in my memory that really shows the power of this.

    The client had an ant problem, and someone else had already quoted.

    I met the client on site, built trust (complimented her on house, view, style, furnishings), got her view on what the problem was, presented my solution and then presented my price. Nearly double the quote she already had.

    I offered to call my office to book straight away and while I was making the call she kept on saying "I don't know why I'm doing this. I'd normally go for the cheaper price".

    She recognised that her behaviour was out of normal character, but she could not figure out why. I just said that there obviously must be a difference between the two offerings, but she was welcome to go with them if that made her feel more comfortable. Well that was that. She has now become a regular client.

    Essentially, her trust level overcame her normal inclination to go with the cheaper price. Obviously, the previous guy's strategy was to let his price do the talking.
    Last edited by Dave A; 30-May-06 at 08:58 AM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Silver Member Candy Bouwer's Avatar
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    Smile Cognitive dissonance - attitudes and the power of Persuasion

    I have been intrigued with the "jump" in your ideas Dave and "jumping back", my own understanding in response is slightly different as I see this being a connection to attitudes. I view the point of attitudes as enduring beliefs or opinions that sway people to respond in a positive, negative or their own ideas or other objects. The process known as persuasion can apparently occur in two ways . People often change their attitudes when confronted with logical or strong views and accordingly are influenced by that person’s physical features - a smile - attractiveness or by fear or a host of other factors.
    Researchers have identified three main factors that contribute to the effect of a persuasive communication: the source, the message, and the audience. In other words, what matters in persuasion is who says what to whom.Sometimes people change their attitudes not in response to a persuasive communication but by convincing themselves, a process of self-persuasion. In 1957 American psychologist Leon Festinger proposed cognitive dissonance theory, which says that people often change their attitudes to justify their own actions. According to this theory, people who behave in ways that contradict their own attitudes experience an unpleasant state of internal tension known as cognitive dissonance. To reduce that tension, they adjust their attitudes to be consistent with their behavior.
    Business Philosophy crosses to Social Behavior me thinks?
    "NETWORKING" is a "CONTACT" sport!"
    Alcocks Electrical Entomological Hygiene

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The cause and effect works both ways. Also note the relationship between attitude and belief.

    In the sales scenario - it's long been held that we make decisions based on our emotional response first and then seek logical evidence to support our decision afterwards.

    Being aware of this, I try to delay important decisions for at least 24 hours. A cool-off period to make sure I've interrogated the emotional response stage.
    Last edited by Dave A; 30-May-06 at 05:09 PM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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