Podcast #072 – Cognitive Dissonance In Horse Owners

The Equine Practice Inc, The Horse's Advocate

“In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the perception of contradictory information, and the mental toll of it. (…) Cognitive dissonance is typically experienced as psychological stress(…). According to this theory, when two actions or ideas are not psychologically consistent with each other, people do all in their power to change them until they become consistent. The discomfort is triggered by the person’s belief clashing with new information perceived, wherein the individual tries to find a way to resolve the contradiction to reduce their discomfort.” – from Wikipedia 2022

I discuss how we get bombarded with contradictory information in horse care. To preserve our sanity, we tightly hold to what we believe, given to us by trusted sources. Who to believe? That depends on how hard we want to dig for information.

In the past week, I have had three clear examples of cognitive laziness (from the Wall Street Journal investigation into “fake news”) of horse owners wanting to give and willing to pay for “the best for their horses.” Yet what they are doing is far from that goal, and have horses suffering in health.

Awareness of the need for effort in learning and finding the truth is the first step in advocating for horses. It is uncomfortable. If you are listening to this podcast, you do more for horses than most owners, trainers, and horse professionals. The only thing to do to leverage your effort is to tell others. Together, we will Help Horses Thrive In A Human World.

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