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Re: orion Orion 1. Cognitive dissonance, 2. "The Essene Shore"

According to Stephen Goranson:
> Dear Dr. Sigrid Peterson,
> I have found many of your previous posts to be quite helpful. In this
> case--so far, though further explanation may change this--I find:
> a) your comments on "cognitive dissonance" neither illuminating nor
> relevant to the point I expressed, and

You had written 

>       The second sentence appears to suggest that some people in the
> discussion suffer from the psychological malady of cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is not a psychological malady, but as used in social
psychology it is a universal aspect of human cognition.  The term
is/should be largely discredited, as being based on social psychological
research that was done before methodological refinements that ruled out
Experimenter Bias were in place.  Festinger's original research on
Cognitive Dissonance was done in 1957. 

Two definitions from the WWW follow:

  Stanford University researcher Leon Festinger defines it as an
  "inconsistency between how a person acts and what he knows." His
  Cognitive Dissonance theory has help shed light on how and why people
  justify certain decisions and behaviors. 

found by Netfind at


  Cognitive dissonance is the mental conflict that people experience when
  they are presented with evidence that their beliefs or assumptions are
  wrong. The theory of cognitive dissonance asserts that there is a
  tendency for people to take actions to reduce such dissonance. A person
  may avoid new information or develop contorted arguments to maintain her
  beliefs or assumptions.

found by Netfind at 

"Cognitive Dissonance" would apply were I to have translated Pliny as I
have and still maintained that one could not possibly apply the
designation "Essenes" to Qumran. But basically my point was that the term
should be shelved. Ironically, I am experiencing cognitive dissonance, and
taking action to reduce the dissonance, when I perceive that the term is
still used.

The term may have a folk meaning as well, of which I'm not aware.

> b) your translation of Pliny's text unpersuasive.

I have no response, as there's the possibility that you didn't understand
a) Pliny's Latin, or b) my translation, or both. 

What *would be persuasive? 

> Sincerely,
> Stephen Goranson
> goranson@duke.edu

Sigrid Peterson   University of Pennsylvania   petersig@ccat.sas.upenn.edu

PS Of course, I assume (perhaps ironically) that Jack Kilmon's
enthusiastic response indicates that he understood what I was saying.
Thanks!  SP