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Cognitive Dissonance And Emergency Preparedness

According to Wikipedia, "Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying."

As you read this, hopefully some of you have had the light turn on in regards to how this applies to emergency preparedness. Often times we find ourselves feeling "uncomfortable" whether that be because we live in Florida and we know that the area we live is prone to Hurricanes or we live in California and are prone to Earthquakes or possibly you live in the USA and your concerned about the current economic climate. Whatever the case may be there's something inside that's giving you an uneasy feeling.

This uncomfortable feeling is Cognitive Dissonance and it basically means that there's conflict between your beliefs and your actions. In the case of emergency preparedness this is the conflict between feeling like you should be doing something to get prepared but you're not taking the action to do anything about it.

In order to remove cognitive dissonance (the inner conflict) you either need to act on your feelings or you need to change your beliefs in regards to the emergency. Basically you either get educated and get prepared or you have to somehow convince yourself that there's really no reason to get prepared, this convincing would have to be so deep and certain so as to remove any inner conflict. The likelihood of this is pretty slim. From a practical standpoint the realistic approach is to take action and get ready.

The Ready Store is committed to help you get there. Not only do we offer a wide array of emergency products but we also have several videos located through out the site intended to educate. Take advantage of the resources we have available and move yourself closer to getting full prepared!

33 thoughts on “Cognitive Dissonance And Emergency Preparedness”

  • tllirisha

    "Earthquakes or possibly you live in the USA and your concerned about the current economic climate."

    SMALL e on earthquakes, small h on hurricanes, it's not a proper noun or the first word of a sentence.

    More importantly, "your concerned" should be "you're concerned."

    If you are going to type in your native language, you should know what you're doing........ if you would say "you are" it should be you're. If you're talking about something that belongs to someone, then your is the word to use.

  • Christine

    When I read tllirsha's comment, I had to laugh at myself. The teacher in me had noticed the same mistakes, and for a second considered what I would say if I were to write and correct you! I mean absolutely no offense to tllrisha, but seeing it in print makes me realize how silly I would have felt. The important thing is the message; I have experienced the discomfort you describe and I enjoyed learning the definition for it. I appreciate the time you took to share the information.

  • Philippa Alderton
    Philippa Alderton January 16, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Since we're discussing writing:

    "whether that be because we live in Florida and we know that the area we live is prone to Hurricanes or we live in California and are prone to Earthquakes or possibly you live in the USA and your concerned about the current economic climate. "

    I was rather amused to discover that apparently Florida and California are not part of the USA. Perhaps if you had phrased it, "...or possibly you live in other areas of the USA and..." your meaning might be both accurate and a bit more clear. Making the pronouns consistent might help, too.

  • Ron Cower

    The resposibility of all Americans is to provide for our families. We must plan for emergencies or disasters. Our first responders can handle fire, roads and such but we must provide our own food. Look around the world and see all the disasters. Are you prepared to feed your family when there are no stores, gas, and other essentials?

  • OCDan

    Love the irony... One would typically come to this site or receive the newsletter by knowing the need for emergency preparedness. This would make us all subject to at least a little cognitive dissonace... So logically, writing a comment solely on grammar either means being completely prepared (and thus no CG) or you're in the majority, have your fair share and still chose to comment only on Wordology. :)

    Seriousy, ReadyGuys, fix your grammar.
    Readers- Focus Please. Do we all not know plenty of people who are heavy in CG- and will come knocking on your door if/when things go sour? Maybe this concept will wake just one.

  • James Presley

    For gosh sake! If graduating from Harvard (Economics) and Stanford (MBA) taught me anything it was: listen to the message! Aren't we beyond grammatical and syntactic pettiness when the subject is our survival? In my thinking we may be on the razor's edge of eating or not. Over a year ago the risks of shortages started increasing and our extended family began the long road to protect ourselves against extended food outages. Now our neighbors have turned the corner too. They have started their storage plan. All the major web based food supply sites are now so swamped with orders we have found it very difficult to make added large scale food purchases with any certainty of delivery. Suppliers just do not have the capacity to meet the demand since the Fed announced their now-notorious 'QE2' plan. Think: What will happen when a few aisles or even shelves at Safeway or Kroger go empty for lack of supply? I'll give you some help: it will cause a panic because practically no one in the US has more than three day's food backup in their pantry. This is because of our irrational trust that our flimsy and highly concentrated food delivery system will always supply our food needs anytime we need it. When the People (capital 'P' on purpose here Tillersha) lose that trust, the ensuing panic will cause a never-ending stampede, cleaning off ALL the shelves like we see before a hurricane (small 's' for you knit pickers) or a blizzard. The just-in-time (JIT) food supply system in the US allows for NO warehousing of food. So the ten-fold increase in food demand will NEVER be fulfilled. A permanent shortage. Today something happened that will accelerate the whole process, the likely loss of status of the dollar as the international unit of trade. See http://tinyurl.com/6c8ye4j
    Good luck syntax fuss-budgets. You better start concentrating on the MESSAGE not the mode of delivery.

  • Chris

    i coud knot find any thing rong with the Post...wat r u taking abot???

  • Cheryl

    I do not come to this site to receive an education on grammar, but to become motivated toward preparations. When the poo hits the fan, the "grammar and spelling bashers" can eat their words. I will eat food from my preps. It was a good article regardless of any "faux pas", and I will personally take heed of the content regardless of any so-called errors in technical writing. When you spelling and technical writing geeks can teach me ALL I need to know about preparedness, THEN you can spout off. Until then, go read your school books.

  • Jamie

    My thoughts exactly Cheryl, let them have it! A good grasp on grammar will not feed nor protect the family.

  • scbw

    Isn't nice to note the attention this email is getting so early in the morning (for me 740am PST)? Thanks for your hard work guys and keep up the good work.

  • Larry

    Chris - Cheryl - Jamie, you guys are "rite-on". Since when do survivalists need to be "so damn politically correct"? This article really hits home and I, for one, enjoyed it and received the well intentioned message it sent. Ps. (Is my speling and punkshuation correct? he-he)

  • Sebron

    I don’t know what would possess someone to provide a grammar review of a message not associated in any way with education or literature. It really has no place in a forum intended to pass along helpful information on emergency preparedness. The critique was accurate, but misplaced. We do, however, remain a civilized and educated society and should represent ourselves accordingly.

    On the subject, I’m personally very anxious about our economy and the implications it has on the American way of life. As the value of our currency falls and resources become unavailable because of cost and such, people will become frightened and some level of chaos will become a reality. We should all be maintaining a basic level of readiness for events later this year.

  • HiCountry Rick

    tllirisha should be more concerned with the message in the article. Not whether it will pass an English final. Apparently she feels if we all use proper english we will be fine when the sh** hits the fan, be it disaster or whatever. You truly need to get in the real world.

  • scbw

    And as I re-read my post, I realize that I was not awake enough to be grammatically correct. "Isn't IT nice..."

    You hit the nail on the head, Sebron. I trade for a living, but you can't eat funds accumulated in a savings account or on a balance sheet. If you haven't put some of your "investment capital" into a store of food within the reach of your family during these and the coming difficult times, you do not have a viable investment plan. JMHO. Enjoy your holiday everyone.

  • Paul

    This silly debate reminds me of debates between Pastors who want to argue about whether we have free will during a process of salvation then God releases us to make a "free" decision and then picks us up afterwords(Armenian) or if God is in fact in control not only before and after but also during that process (Calvinism). It is a silly debate since none of us can save anyone it is God's entire perogative. Our purpose is to preach the truth and prepare people. We have no power over people except in the proclaiming of the message faithfully.

    I believe this what the foolishness here is, let's get tangled up in all of the how this or that should be done and we ignore the most important issue how to escape the danger that is coming in either issue to our own damnation!

  • BKY

    Perhaps tllirisha has 'some inner conflict' concerning proper grammer and as the article rightly said "In order to remove cognitive dissonance (the inner conflict) you either need to act on your feelings or you need to change your beliefs", thus tllirisha acted and made the corrections, which I presume calmed the inner conflicts...everyone needs to take a breath and enjoy the article (very consise and informative) AND enjoy the word play and the conflict apparent in peoples minds concerning correct spelling, grammer, context and teotwawki. LOL

  • GhillieMan

    This is an excellent and most valuable secular message for the average person to understand the psychology involved in their thought processes.

    A analogous theological-based term to Cognitive Dissonance is, in my opinion as an ordained clergyman, spiritual-based "Discernment."

    Discernment is what many call a gut feeling (or may even have the effect of "raising the hairs" on the back of your neck") which is a compelling drive for someone (or a group of people) to make, follow, or take inaction. It is God's influence on each of us, through the Holy Spirit.

    Discernment is consistent with God's influence on mankind (okay women: humankind [smile]). We have a choice in following the compelling nature of the Holy Spirit, or not. Just as it is for the individual in choosing Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior.

    As for me and my household, I have been blessed by Jeff, Matt and The Ready Store staff with their products, service and their writings--including those written with imperfect grammer.

    Imperfection makes us human, and serves as an everyday reminder to continue to strive for Holy Perfection like Jesus Christ!


    ...Chappy (a.k.a. GhillieMan)

  • Tracy

    I would be happy to be your copy editor and am willing to barter.

    Thanks for the message.


  • Bill Lukas

    Simply put, hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

    Bill L

  • John

    I fully support the comment by tllirisha, and I'm appalled by the replies that seem to excuse (or even take pride in!) sloppiness in spelling and grammar.

    This is one thing up with which I will not put.

  • Reid

    while some of you worry about how many angels can dance on the head of a pen the rest of us will be busy trying to do what we can to protect us and our families. I prefer function over form.

  • Anita

    Good article, as usual. As an amateur radio operator "ham" who is involved with emergency communications in our area, I often find that folks tend to downplay preparations or feel that once prepared; always prepared. Nothing could be further from the truth. We must continually be learning how to improve our chances at having a meaninful and productive life in the aftermath of any type of disaster.

  • The Toad

    Oh well & the world go's on!

  • Colleen

    "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail". While we all get that nagging feeling we should be doing something to preapre ourselves for less than pleasant experiences, often, we get the mindset of "it won't happen to me". I'm not sure if it's just human nature, laziness or denial. But the facts speak for themselevs. If watching all the extreme weather anomalies over the past year hasn't been enough to stimulate you into action, put it into a different perspective. If you lost your job tomorrow and you had no unemployment insurance, how long could you live on the food stores you currently have. No time like the present.

  • Russ

    Well written, and a good point to boot. Appreciated. Everyone having the feeling should simply do what is natural ... prepare for whatever. It sure made me feel better, I know that. Makes the wife and kids feel better too. Sort of gets them involved if you know what I mean. Doesn't hurt a thing. Matter of fact, it helps.

  • Ann EMT-B+

    Ron (4th reply) wrote, "Our first responders can handle fire, roads and such but we must provide our own food."

    Please don't take your first responders for granted. We need fuel, food, equipment, and adequate roads to respond. If there are widespread food shortages, how effective do you think our EMTs and firefighters will be? Many of our firefighting and EMS agencies are not supported by tax dollars and will likely collapse if donations dry up. -- ae

  • dave

    let her critique all she wants instead of preparing,just dont come a knockin on my door

  • Larrisa

    I'm doubly blessed in that I got a grammar/spelling lesson along with a preparedness reminder! I hope the author took the grammar lesson in stride and looks at it as a gift and a way to further self-improvement and did not take it as an insult. It's (it is) all in the attitude folks, keep a good one! :)

  • Philippa Alderton
    Philippa Alderton January 31, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Don't really see why you folks find potential disaster preparation and good grammar mutually exclusive. It seems to me that one of the vital elements of surviving a challenge is good communication, and good grammar helps with good communications. It's not only nice to be able to hear what someone says, but to understand it, without repeated, "Huh? Whadja say? Whaddaya mean?"s going back and forth. Of course, some people are so focussed on getting their goods stockpiled, that they forget to stash a can opener ;-) Perhaps a more holistic approach is in order- let's get food, AND shelter, AND tools, AND communications, AND Water ANNNNND whatever else we think is essential, or just handy, step back, look at our stuff, and decide what's essential, what merely nice to have, and work from there. Once you sort out your piles, you'll discover that good grammar is weightless, doesn't take up any extra room, costs nothing extra, and can be used under any circumstances whatsoever. Seems like a pretty good addition to my survival supplies ;-)

  • Fran

    I was glad to see someone finally comment on grammar. It seems that every blog I read has misuses of words - their/there, your/you're and so on. Not just this blog, ALL blogs. It's not their fault, they are the products of public school education.
    That said, I love to read these messages and always learn something new. Thanks for what you do.

  • Nathan

    I've been working on my get off the grid items more lately. I have a question for the grammer experts: if the US dollar drops off as the world currency, then how much will a lierature book be worth is US dollars then. Not Much! Better buy food, hand tools, medical supplies, batteries, make shift shelters, boots and personal protection.
    If the system were to break apart and I as a believing Christian know what the word says is coming then prepare and if nothing else use the stuff you have for camping and getting off your duff.
    May God bless everyone reading this and I hope you the best. Remember, a group of families that are prepared when disaster strikes are much stronger than one family.

  • Jenny

    I opened this blog because I was wondering if other people just don't "see" what's going on in the world or are my husband and I just overdoing the whole idea of being prepared.
    After reading this, I just laughed and laughed! We are NOT overdoing it and this whole blog being about grammar was refreshing and funny!!!! I'm a high school English teacher and it's nice to know there's still some common sense, conscientiousness, and humor out there :)

  • JASmith

    March 18th, 2011 at 1:24 pm - was the last post prior to mine. As I write, it is now December 9th, 2014 at around 10:00 pm (my time). I just found this web page a few days ago.... are all these posts this old?

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