Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Experience can clash with expectations. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise, dread, guilt, anger, or embarrassment.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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Experience can clash with expectations. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise, dread, guilt, anger, or embarrassment. People ...
Experience can clash with expectations. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise, dread, guilt, anger, or embarrassment. People are biased to think of their choices as correct, despite any contrary evidence. This bias gives dissonance theory its predictive power, shedding light on otherwise puzzling irrational and destructive behaviour. For instance it can lead to this pattern: one desires something, finds it unattainable, and reduces one’s dissonance by criticising it.  ‘adaptive preference formation’.”

We with dissociation disorders are not only biased, but our inability to relinquish previous choices is ingrained in our character. It’s not simply a choice to not change something. It’s a mental predisposition to create a steady, unalterable whole.

Another overarching principle of cognitive dissonance is that it involves the formation of an idea or emotion in conflict with a fundamental element of the self-concept, such as “I am a successful functional person”, “I am a good person”, or “I made the right decision.” The anxiety that comes with the possibility of having made a bad decision can lead to rationalisation, the tendency to create additional reasons or justifications to support our choices. A person who just spent too much money on a new car might decide that the new vehicle is much less likely to break down than his or her old car. This belief may or may not be true, but it would reduce dissonance and make the person feel better. Dissonance can also lead to confirmation bias, the denial of dis-confirming evidence, and other ego defence mechanisms.”

This may be a big contributor to why it is so difficult for someone with a Dissociation Disorder to accept change, or why we fight against it so hard.

Constant conflict. When it’s so hard to make a decisions, finally having one set decision, a solid belief, even something small is like a little life raft, something stable to hold onto in a wash of turbulence. When we’re confronted by something that threatens to dislodge that stability it can be panic inducing.

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