From time to time during my life I’ve observed various phenomena in the people around me that I did not understand, leaving me in confusion. To resolve these confusions I grasped for any answer without proper evaluation, often times even inventing answers to explain their behavior so that I could live with the contradictions to what I considered logical thought.
Studying these definitions has helped me to understand all of this.
Learning the meaning of these words has also helped me to understand my own behavior and points of view regarding certain situations and events from my life when I have not made the wisest decisions, to put it kindly.
Please take a look at these, and follow the links too. Hopefully you will find them helpful as I do.
“Stockholm Syndrome describes the behavior of kidnap victims who, over time, become sympathetic to their captors. The name derives from a 1973 hostage incident in Stockholm, Sweden. At the end of six days of captivity in a bank, several kidnap victims actually resisted rescue attempts, and afterwards refused to testify against their captors.”
“Cognitive dissonance was first investigated by Leon Festinger, arising out of a participant observation study of a cult which believed that the earth was going to be destroyed by a flood, and what happened to its members — particularly the really committed ones who had given up their homes and jobs to work for the cult — when the flood did not happen. While fringe members were more inclined to recognize that they had made fools of themselves and to “put it down to experience”, committed members were more likely to re-interpret the evidence to show that they were right all along (the earth was not destroyed because of the faithfulness of the cult members).”
“The normalcy bias, or normality bias, refers to a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This often results in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster, and on a larger scale, the failure of governments to include the populace in its disaster preparations. The assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred then it never will occur. It also results in the inability of people to cope with a disaster once it occurs. People with a normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before. People also tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation.”