The story of the Fox and the Grapes is a simplistic example of cognitive dissonance. A cognitive process that everyone single person in this world encounters unconsciously. Consistency in our beliefs assist people to maintain a sense of routine and ‘timetable’ culture within our lives. Through this medium, we are better able to come to terms with our purpose and our existence. Opposing beliefs in ones cognitive process is crucial to ensure that a person makes a sound (or a MORE sound) decision. It is an important value judgement screening process and understanding what is really important.
Cognitive Dissonance in Reality.
A stereotypical gentleman who seemed to be homeless was guided to the cologne section in a pharmacy. Whether he had asked the security detail to guide him there or was guided there because he looked unpresentable was unknown at the time. Nonetheless, no attention was paid to whatever the circumstance. After scouring the drugstore for bodily condiments that we may not need, it was time to fork out means of exchange at the cashier. Walking by the gentlemen shifted attention to his shifty body language and the sliding of his hand of a packaged cologne into his pocket. His eyes met mine, but I had played the role aloof disregarding any doubts that he would be stealing anything. Furthermore, there was no hard evidence. His next move, unfortunately, broke out of normalcy…
Firstly, let us put aside that it was a Sunday and assume that he was rushing elsewhere. He had cut the line to pay for some medication and rushed out the entrance without the receipt. Unknown as to what the medication was, it would have been hard to place the urgency of his reverse entrance. Intuition has recovered that he did in fact steal the cologne and was rushing out. I was compelled to inform the security guard of the crime.
The Cognitive Dissonance:
1. What if he was not stealing it? If he did not fit the stereotypical dress code of a homeless person, would I have thought differently?
2. What if I had told on him and he was caught, only for me to (perhaps) encounter him outside and be victimised?
3. What if I had told on him and made a mistake?
There are multiple reasons not to have told on him. Whether be it right or wrong, it was a value judgement. He had placed nobody in danger and nobody was hurt. He did not create a ruckus with anyone at all. In the end it is not about right or wrong, it is about a value judgement. What would have been YOUR value judgement on this?