I am coming at this thinking about two different situations.
- Those in political parties digging in their heels and doubling down on their beliefs.
- Friends or relationship partners standing their ground harder and harder in an argument.
Why do we do this? I have briefly asked some friends why we do this and the answers are all vague, non-descriptive, or circular, such as:
- Because it's human nature (non-descriptive)
- Because it makes us angry when the other person says X perspective (why does it make us angry?)
- Because it hurts to be confronted with knowledge that is outside your comfort zone (why does it hurt exactly?)
- Because we have a need to be right...
But none of these are satisfying answers. I would like an answer that gets at the core of why this is, some sort of mathematical or highly logical answer.
Basically these answers point at some underlying mathematical or logical reason that is not easy to articulate clearly. For some reason getting confronted with a perspective that doesn't agree with your own makes people angry and double down on their own beliefs.
If I try to find a deeper reason or meaning for this, I say basically that you essentially have a sphere of awareness or knowledge. Anything outside of that knowledge that conflicts with your existing knowledge makes you try to reject it. BUT WHY? Obviously some people can short circuit this process and learn to ACCEPT new information by reasoning through it, even if it is uncomfortable at first. BUT WHY IS IT UNCOMFORTABLE? Also I'm not talking about those people, I'm talking about the ones (and it happens to everyone under certain circumstances) who double down on their perspective. Those who you can feel are digging in their heels.
Why do they double down? Why do they dig in their heels? Because it makes you feel good. But why does it make you feel good? Because you are right and your worldview is not shaken. But why does this feel good? Or from a different angle, they do this because hearing the perspective makes them angry. But why does it make you angry? Because it disagrees with your perspective? Why does disagreeing with your perspective make you angry? Because it is a form of change perhaps? But why does change cause anger? Because it disrupts the balance?
I don't know. What are the deeper reasons why people do this, and then not stopping there... What is the deeper reason for that, and for that and for that? Such that the real answer will be some sort of psychological axiom, an assumption that EVERYONE agrees is true and doesn't require further explanation.