Stuff I Found

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Good Dissonance

The compulsion to justify decisions may seem irrational, and maybe petty, too, like the fox in Aesop’s fable who stopped trying for the grapes and promptly told himself they were sour anyway. But perhaps Aesop didn’t appreciate the evolutionary utility of this behavior for humans as well as animals.

Once a decision has been made, second-guessing may just interfere with more important business. A fox who pines for abandoned grapes or a monkey who keeps agonizing over food choices could be wasting energy better expended obtaining the next meal.

I wonder if these same cognitive dissonance procedures effect tastes in music?


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