"Adoption's Fog of Denial"
Denial's Result of Cognitive Dissonance Adopted Child's "TRUE IDENTITY"
The Fox and The Grapes is a Metaphor To The Plight of the Adopted Child's Truth. The Parallel Story to Adopted Child's Truth In Identity -That Is Out of Reach To The Adopted Child and Adult Adoptee. The Adopted Child Attempts To Reduce Cognitive Dissonance to Rationalize The Feeling of Discomfort, Depravity.
A classic illustration of cognitive dissonance is expressed in the fable "The Fox and the Grapes" by Aesop (ca. 620–564 BCE).
In the story, a fox sees some high-hanging grapes and wishes to eat them. When the fox is unable to think of a way to reach them, he decides that the grapes are probably not worth eating, with the justification the grapes probably are not ripe or that they are sour (hence the common phrase "Sour Grapes"). The moral that accompanies the story is "Any fool can despise what he can not get". This example follows a pattern: one desires something, finds it unattainable, and reduces one's dissonance by criticizing it. Jon Elster calls this pattern "adaptive preference formation".
The Metaphor of The Adopted Child and His True Identity
The Adopted Child in adolescence enters the stage of cognitive
awareness of the existence of his real identity and where it exists, on
the original birth certificate, that is sealed by the U.S. court system and
legally kept from the adopted child for the duration of 99 years.
The adopted child's primary motivation to avoid abandonment, discord
and banishment by the adoptive parents. The adopted child's
adoptive family relationship is contingent that the adopted child's denial
of the facts of the adopted child's true identity.
The adopted child's allegiance to the adopted family is based on, and
at the expense of the truth of Identity. Who the adopted child really is, is the constant drain on the adopted child.
This most pressing, serious personal conflict and defining Inner turmoil that is constantly pulling the adopted child in two opposite contradictory truths. The excessive mental stress and emotional discomfort is the Cognitive Dissonance that the adopted child perpetually lives in. In an attempt to reduce the stress of the cognitive dissonance the adopted child must discount and devalue one or the other. With the knowledge of the difficulty in obtaining the court document, the adopted child may choose to devalue and discount the idea of the Real Identity until the adopted child gains considerable resources to obtain it. Therefore he is reducing his misery of cognitive dissonance, and reducing the threat of parental abandonment, the stronger motivation fear that consumes him at the time.
Cognitive Dissonance __________________________________________________________
In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the excessive mental stress and discomfort experienced by an individual who (1) holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time or (2) is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values. This stress and discomfort may also arise within an individual who holds a belief and performs a contradictory action or reaction.
- "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
A classic illustration of cognitive dissonance is expressed in the fable "The Fox and the Grapes" by Aesop (ca. 620–564 BCE). In the story, a fox sees some high-hanging grapes and wishes to eat them. When the fox is unable to think of a way to reach them, he decides that the grapes are probably not worth eating, with the justification the grapes probably are not ripe or that they are sour (hence the common phrase "sour grapes"). The moral that accompanies the story is "Any fool can despise what he can not get". This example follows a pattern: one desires something, finds it unattainable, and reduces one's dissonance by criticizing it. Jon Elste calls this pattern "adaptive preference formation".
- 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.