Some researchers have suggested that experiencing cognitive dissonance (holding contradictory thoughts or a certain lack of coherence between attitude and action) has an adaptive purpose, since it helps us navigate an uncertain world and reduce distress.
However, these strategies in which we make bobbin lace with our beliefs so as not to bend our arm or not accept that we are wrong, excessively, can also make us inflexible in our beliefs . The constant rigid acceptance of our beliefs could make us unable to accept the results, even in the face of damning evidence.
Pathological Narcissism + Dissonance
There is a clear differentiation between pathological narcissism and adaptive or normal narcissism. The pathological narcissist has an inflated positive self-image. When presented with evidence to the contrary, denoting defeat or failure, the pathological narcissist is likely to experience cognitive dissonance.
In an attempt to reduce the discomfort of this dissonance, the narcissist redirects and externalizes the guilt . This strategy of reducing dissonance allows the narcissists’ self-image to remain intact.
Finally, the act of not apologizing for one’s behavior could also be an interesting strategy. A study by researchers in Australia found that refusing to apologize after doing something wrong allowed the perpetrator to keep their self-esteem intact .
Phenomena like this are those that feed mental viruses, procedures that nullify our judgment, and allow, for example, the anti-vaccine movement to be so transversal: because although those who despise global warming tend to be on the right, and those on the left tend Being more distrustful of genetically modified foods, on the subject of vaccines it seems that ideology does not matter so much : from the hippies to the conservatives of the Tea Party there are people who denounce that vaccines are harmful.
In fact, according to a recent study, people trust vaccines more when they rule the political party with which they sympathize, regardless of what the science says. You can go deeper into it in the following video: