Well, the Rapture didn’t happen. All the true believers are still here on Earth, and while I’m sure they’re sad about it, their faith will be stronger than ever. It’s something that’s hard to wrap your mind around, but precisely because the Rapture didn’t happen, the faithful will believe even more — not less.
Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance, which predicts that the more we have given and invested in a particular point of view, the less likely we will be to abandon it in the face of contrary evidence. It’s the same cognitive process that kicks in when we are made to behave in ways that are inconsistent with our beliefs; in the face of that disharmony, we often change our beliefs to be congruent with our behaviors and self-perception. Cognitive dissonance is uncomfortable and leads people to seek resolution.
Whaaaa…? You might be thinking, that doesn’t even make sense…
[S]tudies have found that when people pay more for a bad wine or meal, they are more likely to report that it was tasty, compared with people who paid less for the exact same crappy dinner or drink. No one wants to be a sucker.
Well, there ya go. People believe stupid stuff; invest a lot of time and energy in stupid stuff; so, instead of cutting their losses and chalking it up to a lesson learned about stupid stuff, they dig in even harder; and the cycle begins again.
I can’t wait to see what Mr Camping has up his sleeve next….
This is our daily open thread — assuming you’re still here, feel free to share what’s on your mind.