Delusions, dissonance and rationalization

June 23, 2009

Well, ok. I have to admit. I tuned in to Jon & Kate to see how they would present their divorce.

It was a trainwreck.

At least to me.

The both of them spent all their “couch time” saying they were “doing it for the kids.” Separating for the kids. Going on with the show to provide for the kids.
That it wasn’t the show’s fault.

Could they be that delusional?

They’ve got to have stashed away millions already from show, book etc. They just don’t want to get off the gravy train, especially now that they are “celebrities,” in that sick 21st century definition of the word.

How healthy is it for kids to be followed constantly by cameras and papparazzi? For their entire childhoods?

Does this tacky couple really think that all the cosmetic surgery enhancements and the attention of the show had nothing at all to do with the mess they made of their marriage?

Sadly, the kids are the victims of this delusional, self-centeredness.

But why should I be surprised? People have an amazing ability to fool themselves, and to interpret the world the way they want to. It reminds me (again) of the theory of cognitive dissonance, which is one of the most studied theories in social psych.

(I started doctoral studies in social psych, a long time ago. Didn’t finish. But it was fascinating.)

Cognitive dissonance is the discomfort created when you hold two contradictory ideas, attitudes, or beliefs, simultaneously. And by the awareness of your own behavior.

The theory of cognitive dissonance posits that people are driven to reduce dissonance by either changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors

People do it every day, and that’s what Jon & Kate are doing, I believe.

The drive to interpret what we do in a way that we can find palatable is huge. Especially when we know what we’re doing is not right, not healthy, or whatever. We simply have to justify it, or admit that we’re effing up in some way.

The issue I have with this couple is that those 8 kids are the ones who will pay for the delusions and rationalizations.

The issue I have with our society is that so many people want to watch this trainwreck of a family.

This is the worst of American life, to me. The absolute nadir.

If you click on the cartoon, I think you can make it larger.

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