Total Posts:7|Showing Posts:1-7
Jump to topic:

Psychology: Justification

Chaosism
Posts: 2,674
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/27/2015 3:49:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I was making some observations of an event a couple of days ago and in discussing Cognitive Dissonance with someone, I ended up concocting the term, "Retroactive Justification". It was off-the-cuff, and I can't seem to find a corresponding term or explanation in my searches. Would anybody know what the 'official' representation of this would be? (explanation below)

Cognitive Dissonance prompts a response to alleviate the cognitive discomfort that is experienced by introduction to a belief or experience that conflicts or contradicts an existing belief. The response can vary, but typically results in (1) altering the originally held belief to accommodate the new belief, (2) blatant dismissal of the new belief and avoidance of further interaction with the source, (3) seeking or inventing justification in order to excuse the new belief and relieve the conflict, or (4) the repackaging of the source of the new belief in order to justify dismissing it entirely, without considering the belief, itself.

Now, I observed an instance in which people committed an unethical action for what they though was an ethical cause. When confronted with the fact that is was unethical, many people display reaction (3) above, and tried to justify it. However, I noted that it was quite common that the people would attempt to justify their actions with knowledge that was acquired after the unethical action was committed.

To explain hypothetically, say that you, in a fit of anger, punch a man in the face for no good reason. If you believe yourself to be a good person, then this will conflict with what you just did, invoking Cognitive Dissonance. Now, imagine that you later learned that this man had pushed a grandmother down the stairs earlier today. One may be tempted to use that knowledge (he's a bad person) to justify one's previous action to alleviate the CD while maintaining the original belief. In actuality, this is fallacious, because that action was committed without that knowledge in the first place, rendering it irrelevant (you would have done it, anyway). I believe this is an effect that can be attributed to Hindsight Bias.
FaustianJustice
Posts: 6,239
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/27/2015 4:33:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/27/2015 3:49:34 PM, Chaosism wrote:
I was making some observations of an event a couple of days ago and in discussing Cognitive Dissonance with someone, I ended up concocting the term, "Retroactive Justification". It was off-the-cuff, and I can't seem to find a corresponding term or explanation in my searches. Would anybody know what the 'official' representation of this would be? (explanation below)

Cognitive Dissonance prompts a response to alleviate the cognitive discomfort that is experienced by introduction to a belief or experience that conflicts or contradicts an existing belief. The response can vary, but typically results in (1) altering the originally held belief to accommodate the new belief, (2) blatant dismissal of the new belief and avoidance of further interaction with the source, (3) seeking or inventing justification in order to excuse the new belief and relieve the conflict, or (4) the repackaging of the source of the new belief in order to justify dismissing it entirely, without considering the belief, itself.

Now, I observed an instance in which people committed an unethical action for what they though was an ethical cause. When confronted with the fact that is was unethical, many people display reaction (3) above, and tried to justify it. However, I noted that it was quite common that the people would attempt to justify their actions with knowledge that was acquired after the unethical action was committed.

To explain hypothetically, say that you, in a fit of anger, punch a man in the face for no good reason. If you believe yourself to be a good person, then this will conflict with what you just did, invoking Cognitive Dissonance. Now, imagine that you later learned that this man had pushed a grandmother down the stairs earlier today. One may be tempted to use that knowledge (he's a bad person) to justify one's previous action to alleviate the CD while maintaining the original belief. In actuality, this is fallacious, because that action was committed without that knowledge in the first place, rendering it irrelevant (you would have done it, anyway). I believe this is an effect that can be attributed to Hindsight Bias.

I think the term you are looking for is "rationalization". "Reasoning" is deriving a conclusion. "Rationalizing" is deriving an excuse.
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
http://www.debate.org...
Chaosism
Posts: 2,674
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/27/2015 4:45:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/27/2015 4:33:00 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:

I think the term you are looking for is "rationalization". "Reasoning" is deriving a conclusion. "Rationalizing" is deriving an excuse.

You're right. My language usage is quite imperfect.

What I was looking for was if there was a existent term or explanation of this use of "after-the-fact" information in rationalizing a previously committed action, specifically. Since it's inherently fallacious, logically, I thought it might be worthy of independent recognition.
FaustianJustice
Posts: 6,239
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/27/2015 4:48:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/27/2015 4:45:05 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 10/27/2015 4:33:00 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:

I think the term you are looking for is "rationalization". "Reasoning" is deriving a conclusion. "Rationalizing" is deriving an excuse.

You're right. My language usage is quite imperfect.

What I was looking for was if there was a existent term or explanation of this use of "after-the-fact" information in rationalizing a previously committed action, specifically. Since it's inherently fallacious, logically, I thought it might be worthy of independent recognition.

I don't think there is a specific "word" (singular), usually something like that is described as post hoc, though your off-the-cuff phrasing feels more pointed to the process.
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
http://www.debate.org...
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,872
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/16/2015 7:40:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/27/2015 4:45:05 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 10/27/2015 4:33:00 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:

I think the term you are looking for is "rationalization". "Reasoning" is deriving a conclusion. "Rationalizing" is deriving an excuse.

You're right. My language usage is quite imperfect.

What I was looking for was if there was a existent term or explanation of this use of "after-the-fact" information in rationalizing a previously committed action, specifically. Since it's inherently fallacious, logically, I thought it might be worthy of independent recognition.

Here's a site that has a lot of obscure or precise names of fallacies, you might find what you're looking for here.
http://www.logicallyfallacious.com...
Chaosism
Posts: 2,674
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/16/2015 8:00:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/16/2015 7:40:51 PM, skipsaweirdo wrote:
At 10/27/2015 4:45:05 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 10/27/2015 4:33:00 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:

I think the term you are looking for is "rationalization". "Reasoning" is deriving a conclusion. "Rationalizing" is deriving an excuse.

You're right. My language usage is quite imperfect.

What I was looking for was if there was a existent term or explanation of this use of "after-the-fact" information in rationalizing a previously committed action, specifically. Since it's inherently fallacious, logically, I thought it might be worthy of independent recognition.

Here's a site that has a lot of obscure or precise names of fallacies, you might find what you're looking for here.
http://www.logicallyfallacious.com...

Yep - I have that page bookmarked, myself. In terms of this being a Logical Fallacy, I think the Rationalization Fallacy listed there or the "post hoc" designation that was previously mentioned works, in general. However, I was more curious if something in psychology reflected this specific notion.

Hmmm... this wasn't really an active thread. Things must be quite slow for this one to have been sticky-ed...
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/16/2015 10:52:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/27/2015 3:49:34 PM, Chaosism wrote:
I was making some observations of an event a couple of days ago and in discussing Cognitive Dissonance with someone, I ended up concocting the term, "Retroactive Justification". It was off-the-cuff, and I can't seem to find a corresponding term or explanation in my searches. Would anybody know what the 'official' representation of this would be? (explanation below)

Cognitive Dissonance prompts a response to alleviate the cognitive discomfort that is experienced by introduction to a belief or experience that conflicts or contradicts an existing belief. The response can vary, but typically results in (1) altering the originally held belief to accommodate the new belief, (2) blatant dismissal of the new belief and avoidance of further interaction with the source, (3) seeking or inventing justification in order to excuse the new belief and relieve the conflict, or (4) the repackaging of the source of the new belief in order to justify dismissing it entirely, without considering the belief, itself.

Now, I observed an instance in which people committed an unethical action for what they though was an ethical cause. When confronted with the fact that is was unethical, many people display reaction (3) above, and tried to justify it. However, I noted that it was quite common that the people would attempt to justify their actions with knowledge that was acquired after the unethical action was committed.

To explain hypothetically, say that you, in a fit of anger, punch a man in the face for no good reason. If you believe yourself to be a good person, then this will conflict with what you just did, invoking Cognitive Dissonance. Now, imagine that you later learned that this man had pushed a grandmother down the stairs earlier today. One may be tempted to use that knowledge (he's a bad person) to justify one's previous action to alleviate the CD while maintaining the original belief. In actuality, this is fallacious, because that action was committed without that knowledge in the first place, rendering it irrelevant (you would have done it, anyway). I believe this is an effect that can be attributed to Hindsight Bias.

There is an interesting book (http://www.amazon.com...) which is really a popular science book in the realms of more neuroscience and the weird things the brain can do.

One of the anecdotes in this book was the case of a neurosurgeon operating on a person and accidentally triggering laughter by stimulating part of their brain.

As Neurosurgery generally requires actively asking questions, one of the things the surgeon asked was "why are you laughing", to which the person replied "You keep asking me silly questions".

While just an anecdote it seems to fit in a pattern of behavior in all humans on trying to justify why something happened or why someone did something regardless of whether that was actually the reason or not.