EVE players are masters of cognitive dissonance.

Defined, the term describes a mental state in which you convince yourself that a situation is an overall net positive despite having many more negative aspects than positive ones.  The simplest example is “I didn’t want that ship/moon/system/region anyway.”  Of course, if you really believed that you would have sold the ship or given away the moon, system, or region months ago.  You didn’t, but you convince yourself that the loss is really for the best.

With that in mind, I invite you to read through this somewhat unintentionally amusing blog post “The War Against Super Capitals” by Wilhelm Arcturus at The Ancient Gaming Noob.  Well, it’s amusing in context.  I count no fewer than ten examples of major cognitive dissonance (they’re quotes from the piece):

  • By the time it came to Drake Fleet, there were few pilots willing or able to jump into Scimitars.  I was able, I just wasn’t willing.
  • …it would take as many as five titan bridges to get us to our destination.  As it turned out, due to bad planning, we were not even going to get one.
  • Then we jumped into chaos.  And TiDi.  And Lag.
  • …the EVE client doesn’t really like [it when you try to use the game’s UI under heavy TiDi].  It starts to get erratic…
  • …[for our Drakes], a single volley being enough to destroy most of our targets.
  • But this time my EVE client was starting to come apart…
  • I got in there and tried to loot some and ended up grabbing wrecks full of Scourge missiles…
  • We didn’t kill the CSAA.  Mission failed on that front.
  • We then turned for home, which was trial only because TiDi chased us most of the way home.
  • Both sides will no doubt declare victory.
  • All in all it was a heck of a fight, and a nice way to end the month.

That last one is the one that really sells it for me.  😉  “This fight sucked in ten different ways, but it was fun!”  That’s cognitive dissonance.

I’m not trying to make light of TAGN’s experiences; he’s a great blogger who I admire a great deal.  His post does a better job of describing the fight than’s coverage.  You can see many Goon pilots also saying how much fun this was.(1)  It’s funny how good humans are at convincing themselves that negative experiences are actually positive ones.

And EVE players are masters at it.  We’ve all got this particular skill trained to V…

(1) The few IRC/NCdot pilots that try to comment are almost instantly shouted down by Goons.

Ripard Teg

Send us Intel/Corrections via dropbox or shoot us an e-mail

If you would like to read more we invite you to visit his blog here.


  1. pew

    winning and losing is part of the game. losing doesn't have to be not fun. for the most part i either laugh at my mistakes or smile at my opponents skill when i lose.

    November 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm Reply
  2. IRC grunt

    As one of the carrier pilots for irc i can say that this fight was shit just like most of the fights we fought against goons with the dotbros. Anyone that has fun in that tidi lag infested crap needs some serious help. We may have lost a bunch of caps but we learned alot from the fight and will not be making the same mistakes again. I do have to admit that alot of the carriers were shit fit, thanks to people flying them that shouldn't have been.

    November 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm Reply
  3. someone else

    A common example of cognitive dissonance occurs in the purchasing decisions we make on a regular basis. Most people want to hold the belief that they make good choices. When a product or item we purchase turns out badly, it conflicts with our previously existing belief about our decision-making abilities.

    So, cognitive dissonance isn't an Eve phenomenon but part of the human nature :-)

    November 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm Reply
  4. tengu pilot

    Most of those quotes are not examples of cognitive dissonance, they are just comments

    November 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm Reply
    1. ^ cognitive dissonance right there ladies and gents….

      November 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm Reply
      1. Glenn

        Goody proctor has cognitive dissonance !

        But its nothing to be embarased on, all people tend to remember the good and forget the bad, if it was the other way around we would have depression instead.

        November 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm Reply
        1. Excellent allusion there!

          However, you seem to be off base with the whole "forget the bad" part, considering I wrote all those bad parts down as part of my "we had fun" post. Even I am not so absent minded as to forget things mid-post… well, not NINE things.

          I think it is more of a "sum adds up to greater than the parts" sort of experience, with a bit of oversell on some of the bad. Nobody likes to be in TiDi, but I don't think anybody is rage quitting over it.

          November 3, 2012 at 3:49 am Reply
    2. NullSecHoBo

      Agreed – either he doesn't really understand what cognitive dissonance is, or is taking a ridiculous amount of latitude in defining it..

      Ask yourself it there are two or more conflicting or contradicting beliefs or cognitions in any of those examples, and I think you'll be struggling for most of them.

      Unless of course you think this entire enterprise was an exercise in cognitive dissonance… in which cause everything falls into that bucket.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:12 pm Reply
      1. Devore

        Actually, cognitive dissonance is extremely common, which is why you think Jester is taking liberties. Humans are very good at deceiving themselves. You might say it is a survival mechanism, to protect the brain from exploding from all the contradictions. Every time you do or say something you know or (more importantly) feel you should not, but do it anyways, that is cognitive dissonance at work. It is easily the strongest human emotion.

        November 2, 2012 at 6:04 am Reply
  5. druid_cilnok

    I think i now know what cognitive dissonance means. But will never ever use it in Real Life in fear of sounding like an absolute cunt. So… may as well forget what it means

    November 1, 2012 at 6:24 pm Reply
  6. IRC FC

    Neither side can claim victory or admit defeat by all metrics. So I will merely say this…we learned a lot and will be applying these lessons. This was IRC's first full outing with the more advanced ahac/slowcat doctrines. Few teething pains. Stuff to work on. Thanks for the fight….

    November 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm Reply
  7. SandyCakes

    this sort of dissonance also plays into "suspension of disbelief" which is acknowledging the objective and logical untrue to be true. Examples you may also see in eve. But this is more for creating a deception rather then a dissonance.

    November 2, 2012 at 12:11 am Reply
  8. Bill

    Agreed, having lost cpl bil in ships due to lag I can honestly say it isnt fun. It puts alot of us off going on the big fights (we usually still go) altho I did miss some of the later TDE fights few months back after losing 800mil loki at the start after getting a fleet warp, that didnt warp and wouldnt cancel until i ended up my pod. I declined the next cpl fights. Plus, 90% TiDi when the fleet undocks we find amusing for some reason.

    As for looting wrecks, I always seem to be able to view whats in the wreck, but some else gets to loot it. :)

    November 2, 2012 at 12:32 am Reply
  9. boom boom

    watching goons fail to do what they came to do made it fun for me, and ofc the killmails :)

    November 2, 2012 at 1:09 am Reply
  10. Ghost

    The guy who posted this article has no idea what Cognitive Dissonance. I smoke and preach to others that smoking is bad. Thats called inconsistency. I smoke and preach smoking is not that bad. That's called Hipocracy, convincing yourself by convincing others. You basically lie to yourself. Cognitive dissonance is about having contradicting beliefs, it is a Mental Disturbance. The brain can't handle it for long because of the overwhelming stress. Catatonia has occured in extreme cases when the brain cannot process it out. Believing that lying is bad (First cognition) and being forced to lie (second cognition) you will come up with a rationalization or change your belief's entirely rather quickly to negate the effects.

    November 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm Reply
  11. sash

    Dude. Read an actual psych text book. Those are not examples of cognitive dissonance. Its possible for all kinds of shit to go wrong and still have a good time. I can't tell you how many paintball games I've played where my gun started chopping balls or quit working and I got covered in welts trying to capture the flag without my gun but when the games over I'm all smiles and had a great time. That's not cognitive dissonance that's having fun despite shit going down hill. If anything its love of the game. Want an example of cognitive dissonance?

    A corp decides they want a specific WH but it is currently occupied. They mount an invasion fleet to evict the established corp. The invading corp gets their ass handed to them. They then say "oh well, its probably for the best, that WH didn't have a good static and logistics would have been a pain in the ass so I'm actually glad we didn't get it". That's cognitive dissonance.

    If you're gonna write about a defined term, at least learn the definition of the term

    March 12, 2013 at 3:01 am Reply

Leave a Reply