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The Power of Dissonance

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  • Diane
    replied
    Hi Limige, please start a thread/introduce yourself in the welcome forum. Thanks.

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  • Mikal Solstad
    replied
    I am bumping this thread.

    Everyone should read it.

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    I listened again to the last 15 minutes of this podcast and was struck by Tarvis' assertion that skepticism invites "creativity and imagination," and that it is this attitude that allows us to overcome the natural consequences of cognitive dissonance; rejection of the new idea and evidence, or, the ever popular "kill the messenger." No wonder I'm dead.

    Is it fair to say that it is the dearth of creativity and imagination (both primary subjects of popular threads here) in the physical therapy community that keeps them from accepting new ideas that clash with the traditional?

    Perhaps when skepticism rules the schools - an approach that would have dismissed MFR, CS and several other approaches (even ultrasound for pain) - cognitive dissonance will be welcomed for what it actually is; a motivator.

    Of course, so is pain.

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    Jon,

    Thanks for posting this. I listened to it this morning.

    Perhaps I should have titled this thread "The problem of dissonance".

    Tarvis makes it clear that engaging those who have already decided that their method of practice, whatever it might be, is a function of their goodness as a person cannot be persuaded to changed. Our strategies to do so with evidence and reason are precisely the wrong ones as long as we're dealing with a community that finds their self-worth in the simple fact that they practice therapy, period.

    Changing that portion of their worldview is probably not possible, and unless we find sufficient numbers of therapists who are also interested in science we will be dead in the water.

    Wait a minute...

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  • Jon Newman
    replied
    D.J. Grothe is now hosting a podcast titled, For Good Reason. This episode features Carol Tarvis. Much of the information in the podcast is not new, you've heard it through and through. What is new is that she applies the information to skeptics.

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  • EricM
    replied
    Eliot Aronson, one of the authors whose book inspired this thread, has been interviewed by CBC's Ideas. Also on itunes.
    Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why can’t political figures own up to their blunders? What’s behind so many domestic fights? The distinguished social psychologist Elliot Aronson tells us about the power of cognitive dissonance.

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    Thanks Jon.

    I listened to it again and was further convinced regarding something about changing traditional approaches in therapy by introducing clear and concise evidence to the contrary,and it is this:

    Those of us who try to do that are dead men.

    Have a nice day.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jon Newman
    replied
    Interesting interview Barrett. Here is a link that will go directly to the interview (versus the "home page".) It's less than 10 minutes if anyone is wondering how much time listening to it will take.

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    I know this is an old thread but it remains one of my favorites. Listening to On The Media today I was made aware of the new book True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society by Farhad Manjoo.

    The interview indicated that it would fit this topic perfectly, and I’ve got the book ordered.

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  • EricM
    replied
    Rationalizing our choices - an early evolutionary origin. From MindBlog

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  • ian s
    replied
    http://www.sandrablakeslee.com/articles2.php

    There is an interesting well written small article here on what other people tell us affects how we see things (its on social conformity) May apply to lots of things discussed here?

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  • nari
    replied
    Dylan makes a worthwhile comment or two on religion. But, he makes the mistake of assuming that a nonreligious scientist looks only at facts and throws the baby out with the water. That isn't accurate - Dawkins himself gains emotional and spiritual, if one wishes, benefit from the universe by studying it and marvelling at it. So did Sagan.
    The difference is, there is no great figure of authority hovering in the stars who takes an interest in humankind doings. This seems to be the aspect of religion that gets Dawkins going.
    I wonder if it is innate, as is suspected, that people will do or believe anything to fill gaps so they can feel more comfortable. That is OK up to a point.

    Religion aside (though I do like the topic), 'fear shedding' is worth pursuing. The Spartans got it right; many veterans of the 20th century wars didn't and many couldn't.
    Again, like those with persistent pain, they were expected just to get on with life. They are safe now - what is the problem? The ghost in the machine was not understood; and the dissonance between life in the forces and unregulated civilian life post-service, loud.

    Nari

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  • Jon Newman
    replied
    Hi Ian,

    Challenging thoughts to ponder. I see Cory has started a new thread on metaphor and consequences. Unfortunately consequences don't exist in a vacuum any more than means.

    Hi Barrett,

    In the scariest show on television, Damages, Glenn Close had a scene depicting fear shedding (I'm pretty sure). Only I didn't notice anyone around to comfort her. Could be her mistake. Or perhaps she couldn't shed her fear in the presence of another.

    Leave a comment:


  • ian s
    replied
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/S...474736,00.html

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/letters/st...475105,00.html

    Randy -- I was interested in your comments --you might be interested in these links,especially Dylan's take on religion and tolerance.

    Dawkins for instance , despite a brilliant mind and huge influence regarding science and evolution displays an intolerant, almost ridiculing attitude towards religion. I think these two aspects of human 'invention' serve different 'needs' but are often mixed up, particularly in the 'fundamentalist' world we live in.

    People are often incapable of seperating metaphor,allogory from a search for 'truth'. Truth seems to be the domain of science and meaning religion(and also art/poetry etc) . Perhaps a difficulty is when we try and explain things using the wrong tools such as scanning the brain to 'measure' the effect of a poem or symphony?

    Religion is powerful due to belief and allegiance to a cultural construct . Medicine and particularly therapy share many characteristics with religion but this is often ignored ?
    In our line of work (in a D mode culture) with a mechanical world view it is easy to see things from this perspective when the bulk of the problems I see are often incomprehensible!

    There is a good bit somewhere in the Blakeslee book where she is using the metaphor of a stack of credit cards to describe the cortex....each layer of these credit cards contains all the experiences,language and cultural constructs which modulate incoming sensory information. Meditation recognises this dissonance and has organised by trial and error ways of combating the circutious thoughts and perceptions of this changing sensory input. It takes a long time to make sense of this!

    A classroom setting or one session of therapy has a hard time in altering concepts and sensory mapping and hence the rejection over and over again by many patients and people in general.

    I am hoping this reveals something which may help but am awaiting its arrival.
    http://www.amazon.com/Tree-Knowledge.../dp/0877736421

    One of my interesting eccentric patients alerted me to it. He examined his own dissonance by questioning his attitude to living in his head ( he had done a masters in philosophy when retired) when really he needed to do some simple physical exercises for his ankle which he had talked himself out of not doing!

    ian

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  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    Fear Shedding - Part I

    Though preparation for battle does not ensure that a battle will take place, the amount of dissonance I offer to those sitting before me certainly does. I’m working on acknowledging this early in the day now. I speak specifically of how dissonance inevitably motivates us to reduce it and how we have a choice (if we are thoughtful) among several behaviors.

    Yesterday things were going well until a young woman decided it was time to tell the story of her own struggle with a painful problem. Her therapist has told her that her “ileum was rotated and her sacrum was displaced” and she wanted to know, well…I’m not really sure what she wanted to know. But I can tell you that after ten minutes during which I patiently remained silent (for the most part) and was unable to get a single answer to any of my own questions I had to ask her to stop so that I could go on. Time is precious in my workshop, and this prolonged exchange actually eliminated a couple of things I ordinarily mention.

    Later I realized that my battle wasn’t actually with the woman in the class, but with her therapist. And it’s hard to maneuver against a silent and invisible foe. I’m pretty sure the therapist in the class didn’t see it that way.

    Pressfield writes of the Spartan’s post-battle ritual of “fear-shedding.” Beyond exhaustion, these men also had learned that the emotional toll any battle takes must also be honored in some way. They would kneel quietly, shiver, comfort each other and wait out the physiologic response most of us are very familiar with – especially if we teach workshops full of dissonance.

    More soon.

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