Aren't these Pop Idol, American Idol, X-Factor shows odd? Some of the people who come to audition are absolutely out of their minds, if they honestly believe that they are capable of winning. And the weird thing is that many seem to be deadly serious in their ambitions (and get very emotional when Simon Cowell delivers his usual scathing remarks).
The youtube clip is one of the more bizarre auditions that I've ever seen, and despite being named Darwin, it is hard to imagine that this contestant seriously believes that they can win (or even get into the next round). However the worrying thing is, it seems that they are absolutely serious. From Wikipedia:
Cognitive dissonance is the perception of incompatibility between two cognitions, where "cognition" is defined as any element of knowledge, including attitude, emotion, belief, or behavior; in other words, it is the uncomfortable tension that comes from holding two conflicting thoughts at the same time. The theory of cognitive dissonance states that contradicting cognitions serve as a driving force that compels the mind to acquire or invent new thoughts or beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, so as to reduce the amount of dissonance (conflict) between cognitions.
So the reason that people who have no chance of winning a Pop Idol type show are able to maintain a belief that they can win (or be generally successful in the world) is because the alternative belief would cause too much psychological pain. Depressed people often have a more realistic view of the world. Optimism is an attempt to prevent depression and ignorance is bliss, after all. Religion is undoubtedly a related phenomenon, and I wonder if theists realise that this is how they look to non-theists. Scary, isn't it?Go Top