Cognitive dissonance is the feeling of discomfort resulting from a threat to our existing beliefs. This internal tension arises from balancing two seemingly contradictory thoughts in our minds at once. The stress can be enough to alter one existing belief to conform to the other. Although cognitive dissonance theory was not published until 1957, Benjamin Franklin may have been one of the first to understand the fine craft of altering predisposed beliefs.
One day not so long ago, a disciple of Socrates ran with excitement to converse with his teacher. The student exclaimed,
"Socrates!!! Do you know what I just heard about one of your students?"
"Wait," Socrates paused. "Before you share this information,
I'd like you to pass a simple test. I call it the Test of Three."
"The Test of Three?" questioned the student.