PSYCHIATRIST DR ANG: PM LEE MIGHT BE SUFFERING FROM COGNITIVE DISSONANCE

PM Lee could have been in a state of cognitive dissonance when he decided to take action against Roy. (Cognitive dissonance is defined as the mental discomfort experienced by a person who holds two or more contradictory beliefs or values at the same time).

He was torn between Option 1 (build an inclusive society, engage dissenting voices and win back some of the 40% who voted against his party) and Option 2 (act tough, show that he can be like his dad when the latter can still be around to see, and send a clear signal to his disillusioned party supporters that he can rule like his dad if he wants to).

By choosing Option 2, he has achieved cognitive consonance for the time being. But he has to constantly justifies his Option 2 by reframing his beliefs and values and by influencing his party members to share his belief in Option 2.

From time to time, he will have moments of “wondering whether he should have chosen Option 1 which might logically be a better option”. But as it is too late now, he will go all out to stick to Option 2. He may even toughten and intensify his belief in Option 2 to achieve cognitive consonance.

Singaporeans, get ready for more tough measures ahead.

However, not all is rosy; some within his party may not be convinced of his Option 2. This will lead to a split, now more covert than overt, within the party

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