Cognitive Inertia

kodak by ingram pinn

Cognitive inertia refers the tendency for beliefs or sets of beliefs to endure once formed. In particular, it describes the human inclination to rely on familiar assumptions and exhibit a reluctance and/or inability to revise them, even when supporting evidence no longer exists. The term is employed in the managerial and organizational sciences to describe the commonly observed phenomenon whereby managers fail to update and revise their understanding of a situation when that situation changes, a phenomenon that acts as a psychological barrier to organizational change.

However, not all instances of cognitive inertia result in negative outcomes. It is a key component of love, trust, and friendship. For instance, if evidence showed that a friend was dishonest, the cognitive inertia of the friendship would demand much more evidence to form an opinion than that required to form an opinion of a stranger.

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