Consistency can be seen as a personality trait, an attitude toward a particular thing, or part of reasoning. In addition, putting the most important thoughts and experiences in line is good for mental health.
Today, we often hear celebrities being praised for setting an example. Social media incites the implementation or outsourcing of values that are fundamentally invisible.
However, morally rewarded behavior can also be disguised under potentially unethical values and actions. For example, donating money to the most disadvantaged can be a good deed. But some question the donation because the money was received unethically.
The importance of contextualization
What does it mean to set an example? Is it something that depends on concrete implementation, external evaluation or pre-determined action? If someone has more resources to lead by example, is he or she a better role model? The answer is no. Being an example is more related to the main definition of coherence.
Acting as an example is basically doing what others would want them to do. The etymological origin of coherence, in turn, is in the Latin word coaherentia, which means internal connection. It signifies the quality of the internal and global connection or the relationship between their various parts.
The definition of this in itself emphasizes the inner nuance. But “acting as an example” would seem to give more weight to the external component, human behavior, as if it were a necessary or sufficient condition.
Thus, behavior or patterned behavior does not define consistency, as the cognitive component – such as consideration of ethical values - is one of its key conditions. Consistency can be assessed through the relationship between our own experiences and our past thoughts and decisions.
The truth is logical and consistent
We often forget the nuance of this notion of coherence in everyday language and use both meanings as synonyms for each other. This also happens in the philosophical studies of coherence theory. According to Recher, this theory has not always been a unified doctrine, but has taken remarkably different forms.
The Vienna District studied the theory of truth as coherence and it proved to be a conventionalist approach. This theory was criticized for its perimeter thinking, questioning what it really means to be consistent.
The German philosopher Schlick illuminated the critique of this theory when Otto Neurath and Carnap embraced the neo-positivist theory of truth. He warned that it was a circular thinking approach and argued that the truth included ethics.
Consistency from the perspective of thinking psychology
From the psychology of thought, we can learn some valid ways of reasoning as well as the most common misconceptions. If we use inductive reasoning, one of these erroneous conclusions is to believe that the truthfulness of the premise is a guarantee of the validity of the conclusion. An erroneous conclusion also arises when conclusions are drawn without knowing the premises or even when they are known.
These delusions can be seen in recent social phenomena such as truthfulness and populism. The latter is an example of categorical syllogistic reasoning. It concludes from an inadequate principal premise relative to a subpremisis, leading to an erroneous conclusion.
Truthfulness can be viewed as a kind of formal and absolute inference. This is referred to as the illusion of confirming the consequence. This erroneous inference arises when a truthful conditional statement is taken and the opposite is also erroneously inferred.
Remember Einstein’s contribution when he referred to the existence of hidden variables (before we make an estimate, conclusion, or measure). According to him, the results of the measurements should be predictable. If they cannot be predicted, it is only because we do not know everything. This is one of the theories of hidden variables.
Consistency and health
Well-known sociologist Aaron Antonovsky proposed the concept of a sense of coherence as a salutogenic variable in 1987. This variable conveyed health in stressful situations. This concept has been studied as a measure of resilience and is associated with self-esteem and better stress tolerance.
The positive value of coherence has been studied in a constructivism-like therapy called coherence therapy . This therapy interestingly encompasses what has been effective in the clinical practice of psychology, what has been confirmed by neuroscience.
Coherence therapy produces effective results because it interferes with the emotional experience removed from the mind and incorporates it into a person’s memory to make it consciously meaningful. In other words, it seeks to restore an individual’s personal and global coherence.
This global feature, which forms the truth of an individual’s experience, is the main feature of coherence, or coherence. Truth acts as a guide or light on a path that is sometimes dark and sometimes not. Every person has different experiences and everyone feels the reality in their own way. Therefore, instead of following a certain example, you should follow your own cornerstone: consistency.
Consistency, an invisible value, would seem to have become less noticeable recently, or it is not valued as much as exemplary use, which is considered more noisy. But you may still be more consistent in all silence than those who loudly preach or set an example. Knowing that there are more realities than can be inferred from an external connection alone will bring you closer to the truth. This will also open your mind and make you understand the ethical significance of consistency.