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Selective Exposure

 

Explanations > Theories > Selective Exposure

Description | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

After having made a decision, we will tend to seek to avoid cognitive dissonance. Thus we will avoid things which might indicate that the decision was wrong. The bigger the potential dissonance, the more actively we will avoid.

Even when faced with disconfirming evidence, we will easily fall into denial, pretending that we have not seen this evidence.

Example

After buying something, when we see it elsewhere, we are torn between checking the price to confirm we have bought a bargain and the fear that we will find that we could have bought it cheaper.

So what?

Using it

When you have persuaded somebody, deflect them from situations where they might feel that they have made the wrong decision. If they do face this dissonance, talk up their decision so they will naturally move away from the distraction.

Defending

Remember that all decisions are reversible unless signed in blood. If you have been persuaded of something and then see evidence that this was not a good decision, there are many ways you can go back. 

See also

Cognitive Dissonance, Confirmation Bias, Post-Decision Dissonance, Risk Preference

References

 

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