October 7, 2004

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation.
A good example of this would be where one has two job interviews, one of which is for a good job that would take over 45 minutes to get to; and one of which is for a job you know very little about, but is much closer to home.
On comparing the two jobs, and realising that the first one offers much better opportunities for development, and is probably a more interesting role [with discounts on a certain brand of electronic goods], the balance between good job:bad journey gradually shifts, until you get so excited about the good job that you start to look forward to the commute.
Things a girl can do while commuting:

  • Catch up with what the kids are hearing on the radio these days
  • Keep up to date with current affairs by listening to the news
  • Learn a language
  • Dictate a novel [or more likely, blog posts] into the dictaphone device that I would be allowed to treat myself to
  • Listen to interesting new CDs
  • Tackle all those difficult classics like Mill on the Floss in audiobook format
  • Install a hands-free kit, and make duty calls to my parents

Further suggestions on a postcard, or alternatively, in a comments box, please.


4 thoughts on “Cognitive Dissonance

  1. Driving can actually be quite relaxing. Get a DAB radio and listen to the legendary XFM of Radio 5 Live (it’s like a blog but without the Internet).
    Else I often use my journey time to catch up on phone calls.
    And 45 mins? Anything under an hour I don’t consider a bad commute at all. 45 mins is cheesecake.

  2. A bit more cognitive dissonance, I fear. Your expectations are certain to be confounded. Things a girl can do while commuting are sure to be limited to avoiding taxis, white vans and cyclists whilst practising vigourously raising your middle finger in an upwards direction. You may also find that trying to come up with imaginative curses will help to shorten perceived journey time.

  3. Driving to work is great. I learnt a whole load of new gesticulations from drivers I cut up and a choice selection of expletive ridden tirades from other road users. And there’s all the games you can play to make the time pass quicker like how close to the car in front can you get without actually scratching your paint work, what’s the most number of people you can soak to the skin in one go when driving fast through a large puddle next to where they’re standing (6 to date) – commuting by car is fantastic. They should make it an olympic sport.

  4. Assuming that most of that time will be spent in traffic jams, I would think the application of make-up and filing of nails are essential for any self-respecting girlie.
    PErsonally I would recommend that which leasts sustained concentration, which is why I tend to read magazines – only intellekshool ones, natch – whilst commuting. That isn’t an option for the carmuter, but I suspect the same principles would apply.

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