I would like to thank Ms. Riedmann for her excellent letter "On being open minded" (Feb. 7). Her concise yet accurate description of cognitive dissonance demonstrates the reason people frequently commit acts or hold beliefs that are not only not in their best interest, but can actually cause harm to the very things they care about and believe in.In less academic circles, the process is often referred to as human stupidity. For example, it can cause people to repeatedly vote for the same inept and corrupt politicians, ignore all their faults, and cling to false hopes that their lies are true. The real reason is that people just cannot admit to being wrong. Such is the power of cognitive dissonance.
San Luis Obispo