Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cognitive Dissonance

First there is an excellent talk by Michael Spechter on TED. It has to do with his book Denial ism. I recommend you go view it.
I just finished watching a remake of the old "12 Angry Men". You, that are old enough to remember the original movies starring Henry Fonda, was remade with Jack Lemon and George C. Scott in the 1990s. If you remember the story line, it is about 12 jurors who debate and deliberate the case of a teenage boy accused of killing his father. It is the drama in the jury room that is so captivating. The boy could be sent to execution, but one lone juror had doubts. He expressed them and slowly and very painfully the other jurors were convinced of the boys in nonce or at least there was reasonable doubt as to his guilt. What is interesting to me, as I have watched this movie many times in the past but only realized now, that it is doubt and looking at the evidence using logic that overcomes ideology, beliefs and convictions. It is painful because cognitive dissonance rears its ugly head and doesn't want to change. Each of the jurors represent a type of human behavior from wishy washy, fundamentalist, to racist, to logic appearance to everyday Joe, but it is persistent doubt and examining the evidence that eventually wins out. Very good, I would urge you to view this film, it is very powerful. The new or relatively new version from the 1990' or the original from the 1950's.
Just a reminder Dr. Hector Avalos talk is April 21 a week from this Wed night at 7 pm at the Carnegie center.

Skeptical DoDo

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