Cognitive Dissonance

“The state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes about a person or thing.” 

I am a little reluctant to admit that I love the Hallmark series “When Calls the Heart” about a frontier town in Canada in 1910 that struggles and succeeds by working together as a community. There is a Mountie and a schoolmarm, and a lumber mill owner with a histrionic wife and a cast of characters who work and help each other though thick and thin. One of my favorite actors, Lori Loughlin, plays Abigail the Mayor who is smart and resilient, and honest as the day is long. She is the moral compass for the town. Then comes the shocking news about the ‘college-gate’ scandal, and Ms. Loughlin’s alleged $500K bribe to get her two daughters into USC! And one of her daughters is an “influencer” marketing the college lifestyle although she says she really doesn’t really care about school. And her mother allegedly paid $500K to get her into college. How do you wrap your head around that?

Lori Loughlin as Abigail Stanton, Mayor of Hope Valley in, “When Calls the Heart” series.

Loughlin is now out on $1M bail. How do I resolve this dissonance? This idea I had that this actor was a paragon of virtue and integrity and now this comes to light? Maybe therapy?

Why is it important to resolve conflicting ideas? We tend to seek psychological consistency in life. We want our expectations to be real and for the most part met and matched. When the reality of the world sets in and destroys our previous beliefs, we are motivated to resolve the discomfort. We can do it by changing our beliefs, Lori is not what I thought she was, justify the behavior, Lori was just trying to help her children succeed, or ignore the information, that’s fake news.

How do you deal with the “facts” when they conflict with your view of the world?