I want to ask you a question: How do you know if a certain person is affectionate, or selfish, or violent, or whatever qualifier comes to mind?
For purely operational reasons I do not hear your answer, but I can imagine it: you would surely tell me that in order to find out whether the person in question possesses these qualities, you must first be able to observe how they Acts like. And that doesn’t surprise me. We judge others and possibly apply qualifiers to them, observing how they behave in their daily lives.
What turns out to be a rather curious fact is that several times we use the same methodology to judge ourselves themselves. We know if we are affectionate by making a mental examination of the gestures of affection that we usually have with our partner, or our children, for example.
Usually the dynamics follow this order, although we are not aware of it: first we look at how we behave and then we apply a sign, or we join a certain category, whether it is courageous, funny, optimistic or sensitive. This is the first question I want to leave asked to answer the question that shapes the title of this article.
Consistency as a value
And speaking of human qualities, the second question has keep in mind the need for congruence that we feel most human beings.
Coherence, defined as a certain harmonization between what a person says and does, is a virtue highly valued in all cultures. The opposite, inconsistency, results in erratic behavior, Inconsistent or unpredictable. And the truth is, no one likes people who don’t follow a course.
It is normal for people who constantly change their minds, or are easily swayed, to be labeled weak, weak willed, or just plain stupid. like that, consistency is a highly valued personality trait. When we form an image of ourselves, we strive to be consistent with that image.
At all times, our own behavior tells us a lot about ourselves, even during an election period. When we voted for the candidate Fulano, at the same time we built a whole scaffolding which begins to function as a support and facilitator who will help us to vote in the next election. In this sense, if we already decide for Fulano the first time, it makes sense for us to continue in the same line of action and to vote for Fulano again the second time.
Electoral bias and persistence
The phenomenon becomes even stronger if, when we choose our candidate for the first time, we announce it out loud and let everyone know. When we openly communicate our support for Fulano in some kind of amateur partisan activism, the need to be consistent in the attentive gaze of others is imposed on us even more forcefully.
At this point, when it comes to voting again, we are not only under internal pressure to be consistent with our previous decision, we are also under external pressure from those who know us.
But the subject does not end there, but presents even more striking edges: it has been shown experimentally that when a person has formed an opinion on any subject, show concrete evidence to show that the truth is in the first path, it does not serve to persuade the vast majority of the time; Worse yet, any solid evidence that such and such a person might be wrong, contrary to common sense, helps that person to hold on to their belief even more.
This curious psychological phenomenon is known as “persistence”. and it is theorized that once someone invests the time and effort into convincing themselves of something, they vehemently cling to that idea in the face of any suspicion of doubt or external threat. Realize that disarming a deeply held belief is extremely painful for the brain.
Why we always voted for the same candidate
No matter what brutal economics or education gossip the inoperative politician on duty may make; who they voted for, they have no choice but to keep defending at all costs, Putting fixes here and there, and building all kinds of rationalizations and spurious justifications that help keep the precarious cognitive scaffolding that is now faltering.
To accept that this time, instead of voting for Fulano would be better to vote for Mengano, it is also to accept that they were wrong from the start, and to do this, implicitly will also accept their own stupidity and throw by- Aboard all the personalities resources involved so far.
Most likely for this reason, however, politicians who only focus on their own benefitCompletely removed from the needs of most people, they continue to make good choices once they come to power.
The need for internal consistency of those who initially voted for them can become very powerful. And the psychic cost of the withdrawal, too high.