Now, that's interesting...
Exerpt from a recent post on the Dilbert Blog by Scott Adams:
One of the most potent forms of persuasion has to do with
people’s innate need to be consistent. Studies show that people will ignore
logic and information to be consistent...
According to the research, humans are hardwired for
consistency over reason. You already knew that: People don’t switch political
parties or religions easily. What you didn’t know is how quickly and easily a
manipulator can lock someone into a position.
For example, researchers asked people to write essays in
support of a random point of view they did not hold. Months later, when
surveyed, the majority held the opinion they wrote about, regardless of the
topic. Once a person commits an opinion to writing – even an opinion he does not
hold – it soon becomes his actual opinion. Not every time, but MOST of the time.
The people in these experiments weren’t exposed to new information before
writing their contrived opinions. All they did was sit down and write an opinion
they didn’t actually have, and months later it became their actual opinion. The
experiment worked whether the volunteers were writing the pro or the con
position on the random topic.
Most of the truly stupid things done in this world have to
do with this consistency principle. For example, once you define yourself as a
loyal citizen of Elbonia, you do whatever the King of Elbonia tells you to do,
no matter how stupid that is. And your mind invents reasons as to why dying is a
perfectly good life strategy.
I find this extremely interesting; I believe it has implications for every type of human interaction, from relations between nation-states to business dealings to family relationships, and everything in between...