Planet: Critical
Planet: Critical
The Cognitive Dissonance Crisis
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-1:01:46

The Cognitive Dissonance Crisis

Why we ignore science
13
Transcript

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What do W.E.I.R.D countries have in common?

Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich, Democratic. The citizens of these countries exhibit markedly more extreme psychological characteristics than those of non-WEIRD nations. One of the weirdest characteristics is a belief in a fixed “self’ which will behave in a reliable and predictable manner no matter the environment. The belief in this unchanging self is what makes it very difficult for us to change our minds—and even concoct wild rationalisations to justify our behaviour. Welcome to the age of cognitive dissonance.

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Sarah Stein Lubrano, a researcher at Oxford University, joins me to explain the cognitive dissonance phenomenon, its roots in the alleged security granted to us by a fixed sense of self, and why it’s so hard to change our beliefs. She then reveals what neurophilosophy tells us about how to help others change our minds, the power of storytelling, and the importance of social infrastructure for creating cohesive, fluid and non-judgemental communities. It is these brave communities which dare examine themselves, their beliefs about the world—and change their maladaptive behaviours. This is an episode about how to dare change our minds.

© Rachel Donald

Planet: Critical investigates why the world is in crisis—and what to do about it. Support the project with a paid subscription.

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Planet: Critical
Planet: Critical
Planet: Critical is the podcast for a world in crisis. We face severe climate, energy, economic and political breakdown. Journalist Rachel Donald interviews those confronting the crisis, revealing what's really going on—and what needs to be done.