Please see“What is Propaganda, and how does it influence our lives?” and “How to instigate and control people by propaganda” when you read this article because you can completely comprehend the notion of propaganda and this article.
What is Cognitive dissonance?
Cognitive dissonance is vital to discern completely for a controller who wants to incite and propagandize people because it contains an essential factor to instigate people.
According to Wikipedia, In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the perception of contradictory information. Relevant items of information include a person’s actions, feelings, ideas, beliefs, and values, and things in the environment. Cognitive dissonance is typically experienced as psychological stress when they participate in an action that goes against one or more of them. According to this theory, when two actions or ideas are not psychologically consistent with each other, people do all in their power to change them until they become consistent. The discomfort is triggered by the person’s belief clashing with new information perceived, wherein they try to find a way to resolve the contradiction to reduce their discomfort.
In A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (1957), Leon Festinger proposed that human beings strive for internal psychological consistency to function mentally in the real world. A person who experiences internal inconsistency tends to become psychologically uncomfortable and is motivated to reduce the cognitive dissonance. They tend to make changes to justify the stressful behavior, either by adding new parts to the cognition causing the psychological dissonance (rationalization) or by avoiding circumstances and contradictory information likely to increase the magnitude of the cognitive dissonance (confirmation bias).
Coping with the nuances of contradictory ideas or experiences is mentally stressful. It requires energy and effort to sit with those seemingly opposite things that all seem true. Festinger argued that some people would inevitably resolve the dissonance by blindly believing whatever they wanted to believe.
Aesop’s Fables is a typical example to illustrate cognitive dissonance. A fox was hungry and found a grape on the tree and tries to take the grape to eat. However, the fox could not get the grape because the tree was too tall. Then, the fox stopped eating the grape because the fox thought the grape might be sour to eat. Cognitive dissonance occurred in the process of shifting its mind. The state of fluctuating its mind the fox wants to eat and cannot eat is cognitive dissonance. The fox wants to eat the grape first but can not take the grape and gave up by shifting the mind. In this way, the fox gave a reason to give up eating the grape by changing its attitude and behavior and justified itself. Such change of behavior and consciousness is cognitive dissonance.
Propaganda with cognitive dissonance
Cognitive dissonance dissolve contradicted cognition and entails fluctuation of emotion. Back to Aesop’s Fables, the fox possibly feels frustrated and unpleasant because the fox could not take a grape. It is uncomfortable mentally and is hard and tough to maintain the state for the fox. Thus, the fox gave up by shifting its mind to avoid and dissolve the state of mind. We have a nature to balance our mind by changing attitude and behavior when fluctuating emotion. Balancing and resetting emotion is a mechanism of cognitive dissonance.
Then, why can fluctuation of emotion be the same meaning as cognitive dissonance? To clarify this reason, you should know the system of emotion first. Emotion reacts when happening an unexpected event. For example, a fox in Aesop’s Fables though can eat a grape but could not as the tree was too tall. It was an unexpected thing for the fox. Emotion does not react when happening an expected event, but an unexpected event. Besides, the bigger is the extent of an unexpected event, the bigger does emotion moves.
The unexpected thing and cognitive dissonance have a distinct relation because an unexpected event makes a conflict. An unexpected event means happening a different event against an expected event. That means Inconsistency arises between the original prediction and different reality. In other words, contradiction happened in the mind when happening a fluctuation of emotion. Thus, fluctuation of emotion equals cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is a work of resetting fluctuating emotions, and we do everything to dissolve the fluctuation of emotion. Therefore, when you try to incite and control someone by propaganda by utilizing cognitive dissonance, you should just shake the opponent’s emotion.
Cognitive dissonance, fluctuation of emotion, happens in a daily situation such as experiencing the embarrassing feeling, looking at shocking news, etc., and we try to reset the emotional state to balance and to engage in everything that can dissolve. Fluctuating emotion is not in a normal state; therefore, it can lead to taking action for anything to balance. This is why it is easy to control an individual.
Repeatedly saying, cognitive dissonance is a work of resetting fluctuating emotion, and we do everything to dissolve the fluctuation of emotion. That is why propaganda is likely to be successful if the opponent gets to be emotional. Suppose you were in cognitive dissonance and there was something that dissolves your cognitive dissonance, what would you do? You would take action to take the something at all cost even though the something was put deliberately by someone who has a specific purpose. The state of cognitive dissonance is unstable, and an individual wants to dissolve the state. So, the individual receives doubtful information even though it never occurs when being in a calm state. The individual changes thought easily and takes an action impulsively irrespective of someone’s intention and conspiracy. That is propaganda.
We can see a typical medium that uses propaganda, mass media. It conveys shocking news first to fluctuate emotion. after that, some experts appear and start to talk about something like that, such as criticizing “the government did take the wrong action and should have done this.” On top of that, the problem of propaganda utilizing cognitive dissonance is to be able to permeate every piece of information even though it does not make sense and is doubtful of the credibility fully. It is successful someone criticizes or just started to have a specific thought, such as the government goes a wrong way. It is promised to achieve propaganda when being successful in fluctuating emotion because the dissolving fluctuation of emotion becomes prioritized.
Logic will never be accepted when being emotional. Therefore, propaganda focus on emotion. The opponent loosens the guard to dissolve cognitive dissonance when fluctuating emotion. People receive any information arbitrarily and take action by putting a convenient message or something without any complicated explanation of the merit and the demerit before being in a normal state. On top of that, the opponent starts to have a firm belief and not to listen to other’s opinions. That is why mass media start to address the news that fluctuates emotion because it is the easiest way to move emotion and propagandize. The news itself follows propaganda.
In the end
The first thing to propagandize people is to fluctuate emotion. That is a start, and if it successfully works, half of the success will be promised. If the way to fluctuate emotion is wrong, people will rampage, and the repercussion might be able to reflect. However, it is no doubt that it is easy to control people who fluctuate emotion. Furthermore, once being emotional, people became opinionated as be denied, or internal strife occurred. Accordingly, propaganda starts to fluctuate emotion first and attempts to lead in a specific direction by casting a message or claim like that.
It is possible not to avoid being propagandized because human-being can not ignore emotion. Therefore, we should deal with propaganda properly by understanding propaganda completely and noticing the emotional state in daily life.
I want you to comprehend this: Propaganda which is easy to notice, is below third-rate.
reference – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance
thumbnail – https://www.deviantart.com/m88dragonfire/art/Cognitive-Dissonance-726084126