Cognition & Reality

Monday, 5 October 2009

Orly Taitz & Cognitive Dissonance

Filed under: Uncategorized — drtone @ 2:50 pm

Anyone who expects “birther” attorney Orly Taitz to smarten up and stop attacking the judge in her bogus case against Obama, doesn’t get it.

This is an example of cognitive dissonance, a term that is often thrown around without understanding. In the classic cognitive dissonance study, Festinger & Carlsmith (1956), a subject performs a boring task, and is then asked, for either $1 or $20, to tell another subject that the task was interesting. Those paid $1 report liking the taskthey armore than those paid $20 when asked later. Why? Because the subjects paid $20 required less additional justification for lying than the subjects paid $1 to lie. We see this process at work when, aside from other considerations, we  like a car that cost us $20,000 even more after a day or two than we did when test-driving it. In effect, we have to like it because we paid so much for it.

This brings us to Orly Taitz. One might think that being humiliated by the judge’s ruling on her motion and then being fined ten grand for continuing to press a frivolous lawsuit would bring her to her senses. On the contrary, an action that has cost her so much will seem even more important than it did to begin with. It must be important if she’s willing to lose so much money in order to pursue her claims. The more it costs her, the more dedicated she becomes.

It’s worth noting that, in addition to being subject to the ordinary experience of cognitive dissonance, Taitz probably suffers from some sort of personality disorder, making her impervious to the  kind of criticism that might dissuade a saner person from continuing such self-destructive behavior. Furthermore, the more eccentric her behavior, the more persistent she is in the face of large legal obstacles, the more attention she receives, which reinforces her behavior.



  1. The birthers, the tea baggers, the screamers, and the deathers continued extreme minority presence will become tiresome to mainstream America, if it has not already done so. To all the birthers in La, La Land, it is on you to prove to all of us that your assertion is true, if there are people who were there and support your position then show us the video (everyone has a price), either put up or frankly shut-up. I heard Orly Taitz, is selling a tape (I think it’s called “Money, Lies and Video tape”). She is from Orange County, CA, now I know what the mean when they say “behind the Orange Curtain”, when they talk about Orange County, the captial of Conspiracy Theories. You know Obama has a passport, he travel abroad before he was a Senator, but I guess they were in on it. In my opinion the Republican Party has been taken over the most extreme religious right (people who love to push their beliefs on others while trying to take away the rights of those they just hate) and that’s who they need to extract from their party if they real want to win. Good Luck, because as they said in WACO, “We Ain’t Coming Out”. I heard that she now wants to investigate the “Republican 2009 Summer of Love” list: Assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC).

    Comment by Paul — Monday, 5 October 2009 @ 3:21 pm | Reply

    • There is an animus in your comment that I think is misplaced. I’m not sure which “assertion” you mean. I do predict that the “birther” movement will outlast Obama’s presidency for the reasons given. Fines and other sanctions will only stimulate Taitz to do crazier and crazier things. As to “support” for my “position,” I’m not sure what you mean. I have been and remain a strong supporter of the President, and certainly don’t take seriously what the birthers say. That is different from believing that they will endure.

      Comment by drtone — Tuesday, 13 October 2009 @ 8:47 am | Reply

  2. $20K fine, Maybe when she becomes a real lawyer she will appreciate what just happened. I wonder is she was a mail order bride, just like her law degree?

    Comment by Paul — Tuesday, 13 October 2009 @ 8:39 am | Reply

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