“In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. The occurrence of cognitive dissonance is consequence of a person’s performing an action that contradicts personal beliefs, ideals, and values; and also occurs when confronted with new information that contradicts said beliefs, ideals, and values.
In A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (1957), Leon Festinger proposed that human beings strive for internal psychological consistency in order to mentally function in the real world. That a person who experiences internal inconsistency tends to become psychologically uncomfortable, and so is motivated to reduce the cognitive dissonance: either by changing parts of the cognition, to justify the stressful behavior; or by adding new parts to the cognition that causes the psychological dissonance; and by actively avoiding social situations and contradictory information that are likely to increase the magnitude of the cognitive dissonance”” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance
We often see cognitive dissonance is divorce cases. I remember a woman screaming at her husband after her divorce was graneed by the Court that she never wanted to see him again but would he mow the lawn on Saturday. Fathers want to take care of their children but don’’t want to pay child support. A party wants indepence and separation from his or her spouse but wants alimony.
Cognitive dissonance makes it difficult but not impossible to mediate divorces. The mediator needs to help the person ignore one of the conflicting positions or find the perfect balance between the two positions.
Learn more about mediation at http://www.center-divorce-mediation.com CDM (333) 7/1/17