Posts Tagged ‘cognitive dissonance’

…selective outrage

September 1, 2012 1 comment

I am often reminded of how people react, when times are tough…when times actually get tough. How the same situation can be perceived differently depending on a person’s subjective ways (yep – another constant theme in my writings) and how they behave in a perceived authority vacuum. As the remnants of Hurricane Isaac start to recede from NOLA, I recall certain elements of the press making some interesting comments regarding individuals trying to survive (and thrive) during Katrina.

Same scenario, different types of people…praise for one….outrage for the other – right outrage but for the wrong reason.

“Look at those people looting, have they no shame for doing this to their own community!”…..”It is heartbreaking but motivating to see the resourcefulness of these brave foragers.”

So I got to thinking…with my abstract little brain…without getting into the obvious elephant in the room, that is 10 feet tall, on fire and yelling “pay attention to me!!!”

Individuals had an opportunity (free crap), a need (to be debated) and a situation (disaster, whereas security was compromised)….the Social Contract was broken.

The lesson here is what motivates individuals and how they react when there is no (apparent) consequence to their action (perceived authority vacuum). Some do indeed loot and do harm to one another while others forage to survive and try to retain their persona. The point is we never truly know what we are capable of until we are presented with the opportunity, a need and a situation.

Are you a forager or a looter?

…make wise choices,


…lost in translation

June 17, 2012 Leave a comment

A key theme in the past few posts has been communication. As one of the basic foundations of interaction, this is an important thing to master (I was just promoted to Captain Obvious I think). Having witnessed no less than four occurrences of an interesting pattern in the past week, I figured I would discuss the notion of bad analogies.

Analogies are a great way for pulling people into your story – often allowing them to relate to the topic at hand. That being said, it sure helps that your analogies can actually resonate with you audience. Sometimes, lack of awareness to social queues and/or not understanding the audience actually polarizes your listeners. This, often has the opposite intended effect and in some cases can force premature disengagement.

For instance, before you compare someone’s positive effect on you as a black hole – make sure they dig astrophysics. One side of the conversation is thinking of a compelling attraction from which the pull is very strong – analogous to being compared to gravity causing light not being able to escape.  Meanwhile, the other side of the conversation is thinking “why is he calling me a hole?”

…make wise choices



…how much for…you?

February 14, 2012 Leave a comment

I was reading a few articles the other day discussing the notion Big Brother a-la George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Several people aptly pointed out the stark reality that it is not the government that we need concern ourselves with – but Corporations.

I’ll wager that it is not the Corporations that are the catalyst for our private data spilling out into the ether….it is us. We have become slaves to opportunity – the hint of reward. Whether one believes in doublethink or cognitive dissonance does not matter as I am making an attempt to abstract our base intention versus thought process.

I’ll be even more harsh and say that we willfully throw our own private information for the slim chance and hope of winning – knowing full well that the chances are astronomical. We jump at opportunity to win an iPad2, cruise or some seemingly worthless trinket giving away bits of information. Once you give the data away, you cannot get it back and it inevitably results in unwanted phone calls, mailing lists, SPAM…etc. We then spend tons of time getting on do not call lists and opting out of mailers.

Then the next day, we check-in to Starbucks via Facebook or take an online survey for a chance to win a gift card…starting all over again…

Playing the lottery makes more sense – all we stand to lose is a dollar, and no one knows who you are unless you win- not a bad trade-off if you ask me.

How much are you worth?

…make wise choices.