T Nation

Bush's Dissonance

Psycho-politics?

[i]Psychologists once conducted a simple experiment with far-reaching implications: They asked people to describe an instance in their lives when they had hurt someone and another instance when they had been hurt by someone else. The incidents that people described were similar whether they saw themselves in the role of victim or perpetrator – they were familiar betrayals, lies and acts of unkindness.

When people described events where they were the perpetrators of wrongdoing, they invariably said their actions had caused only brief pain to others. Many said the hurtful acts were justified or could not have been prevented.

When people reported the same kinds of incidents as victims, however, they invariably described the actions as inexplicable, senseless and immoral. Victims never felt the wrongdoing was unavoidable. And they reported that the pain lasted a long time.

[…]

The different perceptions of victims and perpetrators in Baumeister’s experiment are a result of a phenomenon known as cognitive dissonance, Tavris and Aronson argue in a new book titled, “Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me).” When we do something that hurts others, there is a part of us that recognizes our action as despicable. But that comes into conflict – into dissonance – with our belief that we are good people. The solution? We reinterpret our hurtful actions to minimize our responsibility and downplay the pain we have caused.

[…]

ush’s handling of the Libby case, and the way the nation as a whole has dealt with the Iraq war, reeks of cognitive dissonance, Tavris and Aronson say.

“Republicans and Democrats have both been very busy reducing dissonance over the Iraq decision,” said Tavris, an independent researcher who works in Los Angeles. “The Republicans who were most in support of the war continue to believe that weapons of mass destruction have been found and al-Qaeda was in Iraq and Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were in cahoots. They reduce their dissonance by rejecting evidence they were wrong.”

“Half of all Democrats supported the war,” she added. “They have reduced dissonance by conveniently forgetting they once supported the war. . . . That is the way memory works and the way the brain works. We ignore, forget or dismiss information that suggests we might be wrong. We rewrite our memories to confirm what we believe.”[/i]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/08/AR2007070800742.html

Thoughts on this analysis? I’m personally not fond of it, but it gave me some perspective on some of JeffR’s senseless post. Thought I’d share.

P.S: JeffR’s posts in the “Troop surge” thread.
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1639426&pageNo=0

I’m not sure it is that complicated, Bush does seem like an ideal candidate for this but not various politicians…they probably understood completely how bad they messed up but refuse to admit it not out of some “false memory” but out of a political “survival instinct”

speaking of dissonance – it’s been a productive weekend for the guys you sympathize with. Here’s the format for the weekend’s Islamic fundamentalist body count: Date Location Killed Wounded Explanation

7/9/07 Afghanistan Heart 4k 12w A religious extremist opens fire inside an Afghan army camp, killing four people.
7/9/07 Pakistan Peshawar 3k 1w Three Chinese motorcycle workers are shot to death by Islamic radicals.
7/8/07 Pakistan Islamabad 1k 0 A Pakistani solider is killed by an Islamist sniper outside a mosque.

7/8/07 Afghanistan Kandahar 2k 0 Two civilians are beheaded by the Taliban.
7/8/07 Somalia Mogadishu 1k 0 Islamic gunmen shoot a policeman three times in the head.
7/8/07 Iraq Samawa 3k 0 A woman and two children are killed when Islamic terrorists lob a mortar into their home.

7/8/07 Iraq Haswa 23k 27 Two dozen young Iraqi police recruits are killed when Fedayeen suicide bombers ram into their truck.
7/8/07 Iraq Baghdad 15k 33 Three Jihad car bombings leave fifteen civilians dead.
7/8/07 Iraq Baghdad 29k 0 Twenty-nine bodies are found, victims of sectarian hatred within the Religion of Peace.

7/8/07 Iraq Baghdad 2k 0 The bodies of a husband and wife, kidnapped by al-Qaeda, surface with slit throats.
7/8/07 Pakistan Bajur 1k 7 Islamic militants detonate a bomb under a police vehicle, killing one officer.
7/7/07 Iraq Mashahidah 8k 0 Eight Iraqi soldiers are killed in a brutal and senseless attack on their checkpoint.

7/7/07 Iraq Kirkuk 5k 0 Five civilians are murdered by the Mujahideen in two separate attacks.
7/7/07 Iraq Baghdad 19k 0 Nineteen people are kidnapped and executed by Islamic terrorists.
7/7/07 Iraq Khanaqeen 22k 15w A Fedayeen suicide bomber kills two dozen innocents at a funeral.

7/7/07 Afghanistan Uruzgan 1k 0 Religious extremists kidnap a man from his home and then shoot him to death.
7/7/07 Chechnya Grozny 2k 1w A police officer and an engineer are killed in separate attacks by Jihadis.
7/7/07 Afghanistan Kunar 1k 8w A 10-year-old boy is killed when Islamic terrorists fire a rocket into his home.
7/7/07 Afghanistan Kandahar 6k 0 Six Afghan police are ambushed and killed by the Taliban.

7/7/07 Iraq Tuz Khurmatu. 156k 255w Sunnis launch a very successful attack against Shia civilians, blasting to death over one-hundred and fifty at an open-air market.

Hey about 10% of the victims were armed men, though. That’s way above par.

[quote]lixy wrote:

[i]Psychologists once conducted a simple experiment with far-reaching implications: They asked people to describe an instance in their lives when they had hurt someone and another instance when they had been hurt by someone else. The incidents that people described were similar whether they saw themselves in the role of victim or perpetrator – they were familiar betrayals, lies and acts of unkindness.

When people described events where they were the perpetrators of wrongdoing, they invariably said their actions had caused only brief pain to others. Many said the hurtful acts were justified or could not have been prevented.

When people reported the same kinds of incidents as victims, however, they invariably described the actions as inexplicable, senseless and immoral. Victims never felt the wrongdoing was unavoidable. And they reported that the pain lasted a long time.[/quote][/i]

I am dead serious - could this be a better description of Lixy’s radical victim-centric ideology and his explanation for every political phenomenon under the sun?

Wow - it is eerily close.

[quote]ChuckyT wrote:
Some list.
[/quote]

Looks like 7/07/07 wasn’t such a lucky day after all.

[quote]ChuckyT wrote:
speaking of dissonance – it’s been a productive weekend for the guys you sympathize with. …[/quote]

Speaking of dissonance indeed.