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Philip Becnel published an amusing article on called, “How Building a Deck is Like Interviewing a Witness.” In the article, Philip tells a personal story about how he was suckered into helping some neighbors build a pop-up on the roof of their house, an experienced he likened to being a reluctant witness.

Here is an excerpt of the article:

Let’s dissect how I was roped into helping my neighbors build their deck this morning, why I’m now sitting on my couch decidedly not helping, and how this process is identical to what witnesses experience when they’re contacted to participate in litigation cases.

The theory of cognitive dissonance is based on the premise that everyone has thousands (perhaps millions) of different thoughts, feelings, and actions every day. These thoughts, feelings, and actions are called “cognitions.” When our cognitions are all congruent with each other, we’re essentially in harmony, but when our cognitions are misaligned—when our feelings, for example, conflict with our actions—we experience tension. Because this tension is unpleasant, we attempt to alleviate it, sometimes by modifying our cognitions to bring them into alignment.

But more often we also relieve the tension by rationalizing our actions so that they at least feel congruent with our thoughts and beliefs.

The rest of the article can be found here. Note that you will need to sign in with your LinkedIn account or sign up for a subscription: either way, it is free!