The Outcast Adopted Child Vs.
The Family's Biological Shared Similarity Communication
In adopted children and adult adoptees, the individual person's natural response to the adoptive parent is not welcome and seen as bad, provoking or troublesome behavior that is worthy of punishment.
The natural impulses unique to the adopted child are the same natural impulses unique to the child's biological parents, siblings and family. The biological behaviors, gestures, facial and body expressions, tics, habits, non-verbal and verbal communication, relating, thinking, reasoning, non-verbal and verbal expressions are shared similarities that are unique to the biological family unit. Within this biological family unit the shared similarities incorporate the family's way of communicating between the members of the group. Because these biologically based shared similarities span several generations of inter-family communication between the members, the (unique to each family) language and non-verbal communication is easily understood with or without verbal language between and among them. The outsider who is exposed to a biological family's communication of shared similarities may find great difficulty in understanding or attempting to convey messages that are received. The communication brake-down will commonly occur with an outsider that does not speak the family's biological communication of body language and expressions within the shared similarities context. The assumption that growing up in a family or time and repetition of exposure to biological based traits may help the adopted child to adapt to a cellular based likeness. The assumption is a false hope for the adaption, as the adopted child has his own shared similarity language with his own biological family. The adopted child can not adapt nor should he be expected to, as he won't and can't. The fact that not understanding or speaking a foreign biological language will keep the person on the outside of a group, but this principle goes a step further.
The infant following the abandonment stage, the compensating stage and the defense mechanism stages of compensation, cannot engage in intuitive response to the biological mother as she is gone and the substitute mother speaks an entirely different and foreign biological shared similarity language than the adopted child's biological language. The biological language problem will keep the outsider child apart from the new family group indefinitely. The psychological term cognitive dissonance is the psychological conflict at odds with the adopted child's attempt to engage in the membership of a closed group that he does not belong.
- "The existence of dissonance, being psychologically uncomfortable, will motivate the person to try to reduce the dissonance and achieve consonance"
- "When dissonance is present, in addition to trying to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situations and information which would likely increase the dissonance"
Relationship between cognitions
- Consonant relationship – Two cognitions/actions that are consistent with one another (Ex: Not wanting to get intoxicated while out, then ordering water instead of alcohol)
- Irrelevant relationship – Two cognitions/actions that are unrelated to one another (Ex: Not wanting to get intoxicated while out, then tying your shoes)
- Dissonant relationship – Two cognitions/actions that are inconsistent with one another (Ex: Not wanting to get intoxicated while out, then consuming six tequila shots)
Magnitude of dissonance
- The importance of cognitions: The more elements that are personally valued, the greater the magnitude of the dissonant relationship will be.
- Ratio of cognitions: The proportion of dissonant to consonant elements
Reducing cognitive dissonance
Attitude: "I am going on a diet and will avoid high fat food" Behavior: Eating a doughnut or some other high fat food
- 1. Change behavior/cognition
- (Ex: Stop eating the doughnut)
- 2. Justify behavior/cognition by changing the conflicting cognition
- (Ex: "I'm allowed to cheat every once in a while")
- 3. Justify behavior/cognition by adding new cognitions
- (Ex: "I'll spend 30 extra minutes at the gym to work it off")
- 4. Ignore/Deny any information that conflicts with existing beliefs
- (Ex: "I did not eat that donut. I always eat healthy.")
Theory and research
Effort justification paradigm
"The Fox and the Grapes"
- Explain inexplicable feelings: When a disaster occurs in a community, irrationally fearful rumors spread in nearby communities not involved in the disaster because of the need of those who are not threatened to justify their anxieties
- Minimize regret of irrevocable choices: Bettors at a racetrack are more confident in their chosen horse just after placing the bet because they cannot change it (the bettors felt "post-decision dissonance").
- Justify behavior that opposed their views: Students judge cheating less harshly after being induced to cheat on a test.
- Align one's perceptions of a person with one's behaviour toward that person: the Ben Franklin Effect refers to that statesman's observation that the act of performing a favour for a rival leads to increased positive feelings toward that individual.
- Reaffirm already held beliefs: Congeniality bias (also referred to as Conformation Bias) refers to how people read or access information that affirms their already established opinions, rather than referencing material that contradicts them. For example, a person who is politically conservative might only read newspapers and watch news commentary that is from conservative news sources. This bias appears to be particularly apparent when faced with deeply held beliefs, i.e., when a person has 'high commitment' to their attitudes.
Applications of research
Challenges and alternative theories
Self-perception theory (Bem)
Balance theory ("P-O-X" Theory) (Heider)
- Unit relations – things and people that belong together based on similarity, proximity, fate, etc.
- Sentiment relations – evaluations of people and things (liking, disliking)
P = you O = John X = John's dog
- "I don't like John"
- "John has a dog"
- "I don't like the dog either"
P = you O = your child X = picture your child drew
- "I love my child"
- "She drew me this picture"
- "I love this picture"
Cost-benefit analysis (Dupuit)
Self-discrepancy theory (Higgins)
- Actual self – representation of the attributes you believe you actually possess (basic self-concept)
- Ideal self – attributes you would ideally like to possess (hopes, aspiration, what motivates you to change/improve)
- Ought self – attributes you believe you should possess (duties, obligations, responsibilities)
Averse consequences vs. inconsistency (Cooper & Fazio)
Free-choice paradigm criticism (Chen et al.)
Modeling in neural networks
- Parallel constraint satisfaction processes
- The meta cognitive model (MCM) of attitudes
- Adaptive connectionist model of cognitive dissonance
- Attitudes as constraint satisfaction model