Week 12 First Impression
Option 2-Cognitive Dissonance
A time in my life when I experienced a change in beliefs due to cognitive dissonance was in school. I did not necessarily change my entire belief system but I changed my behavior to suit the environment. I did this because of something that I temporarily believed to be true. In middle school and even some in high school, I knew what I believed. I had a strong sense of God in my family and was raised in a very Christian home. However, in the craziness of middle school and trying to fit in, having a strong faith was not always the most popular thing. I thought that people would not like me if they knew what I believed and if I did not act like everyone else. Although I did not change what I believed, I definitely did not act as though I believed it and I certainly did not talk about it. I pretended faith was not a strong part of my life and changed my behavior to act like that was true. I believed that if no one knew my true beliefs I would have more friends. As I got older and realized that my faith was who I am I became more confident and decided that it did not matter. I also realized that the people I was with did not care about my religious beliefs and in fact liked me because of it. I did not experience a full change in beliefs but for a short period of time, I believed that having a strong faith was not okay and that you should hide it. That idea led to my behavior change. Now that I am older I realized that what you believe is who you are and I think that that also would be a change in my beliefs due to cognitive dissonance.
I think that not necessarily promoting cognitive dissonance but having the opportunity for it is a good idea. Allowing people to know that change is good and opinion change is also good is something that could really benefit us as a society. If people would open their minds to change there would be less hate and feuds in this world today. Avoiding cognitive dissonance I think would be like hiding something and burying it under the rug just because you already have an opinion on it. Exposing yourself to other situations and learning new things to change and “update” your opinions is how we grow and discover who we are.