Cognitive Dissonance, its causes, costs, and cures
I hear Carol Tavris speak at a wonderful discussion group in Santa Monica years ago: Somehow I just felt a need to finally buy the book "Mistakes Were Made(But not by Me) and read it. Now I am getting messages from the Universe -- the phrase "cognitive dissonance" keeps reoccurring everywhere I read, on conference calls... I am clearly supposed to get familiar with this concept (and the research) and how it affects me, my work and my clients.. and the toxic court system.
I have yet to complete the book--the examples of how commonly God awful things happen and are justified buy this aspect of how humans think is hard to plow through. I keep wanting to know WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT? And I keep asking myself "Have I done this? Do I do this?"
Hard to read and do this at the same time.
Short version, this book explains how the disasters such as the McMartin preschool false "recovered memory" case happened. (This was local to me) as well as many of the political insanity we have all seen from the Vietnam war Watergate to ... you name it.
It explains much if what we see in custody evaluations where the evaluator is clearly of base--or worse. It explains how all those judges, even ones I know wish to t do what is in the "best interests of the children" make such bizarre rulings. (Witness the Orange County costly decision by Judge Nancy Weben Stock to return 2 minor children to Orenthal James Simpson... following what she truly believed was the law and her duty as a bench officer.)
So-- the cause is apparently an inborn psychological mechanism that by some quirk not everyone is utterly prey to. Its costs are beyond calculation.
It is why we can never, as a nation, face the injustices we have perpetrated on groups of people like the Chinese, the Japanese, the slaves we imported and the many people still oppressed by the unaddressed nature of these injustices.
The cure? Don't know yet. I DO know having spent 7 years in the human potential movement where we were made to look at out part in whatever we brought to the workshops and projects helped! The late Paul Larson used to say "there's nobody out there" --meaning "that's your own reflection you think you see in them" (whoever we were complaining about!) essentially.
As for the end of the book and the authors' recommendations... stay tuned. Read it if you dare!