What is Cognitive Dissonance?

cogs-or-gears-in-human-head_m1cmGUSome would say it is the consistency between one’s expectations and one’s reality. In order to maintain that balance a simple rule of thumb is exercised “ignore or deny any information that conflicts with existing beliefs” – in other words- This is America. It can’t happen here.

In 1770 most British subjects in America could not even conceive what was ahead of them – a tea party to Paul Revere, Bunker Hill to a Declaration, a war for freedom and independence.
Who would have thought that in 1850 on the horizon was a war pitting brother against brother and would rage across the United States from a small town in Pennsylvania to the banks of the Mississippi.

Going to bed on the evening of Dec. 6, 1941 did any one imagine that a small island nation in the Pacific Ocean had the audacity to attack the strongest nation in the world? Didn’t most of us think on hearing that a plane had hit the World Trade Center on 9/11 that the private plane pilot must have gotten somehow off course.

Cognitive Dissonance – This is America. It can’t happen here.

The above examples, when looking back had, some would argue, the seeds for predictability. Even the 9-11 debacle. However on the eve of the 9-11 anniversary most continue to deny and practice cognitive dissonance as it pertains not to the grandiose events but to the simple day to day occurrences of their life. Most can now look back on History, like a Monday morning quarterback, hindsight, and see what was coming was obvious. They will shake their heads and say “why weren’t they prepared?”

Fast forward to now and I ask are you ready for:

  1. Oil in the teens and the total destruction of the US shale oil industry
  2. IRA’s,401k’s converted and controlled by the Federal Government
  3. Unemployed millennials inducted for several years of governmental service
  4. Restriction imposed on travel between states in the U.S.
  5. Money Market, savings and checking accounts restricted in usage, transfer and withdrawals
  6. Trading suspended in all markets
  7. Grocery store shelves empty
  8. Military exercises being conducted in your community
  9. Stock market dropping 75%

Everything above has or is happening, been discussed by Central Bank or Governmental officials, or on someone’s drawing board. I simply stopped at nine since I became overwhelmed. There were many more that could have been added to the list. I guess my hope told me not here, not in America. None of the above fits our expectations-our reality. However we are being warned daily and chose to ignore and deny the information.

Unfortunately reality is about to change and Cognitive Dissonance will once again claim an entire generation of victims.

Years hence another generation will look back and ask “Why weren’t they prepared?”





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Written by
With his passion for economics, Bill Tatro has been entertaining audiences on the radio and in seminars for over 30 years. Bill’s dynamic and no nonsense style has made him one of his stations’ most popular show hosts.