How can cognitive dissonance be prevented?

Often, we face cognitive inconsistencies without realizing them. The first step is to observe the inconsistencies between our thoughts. We can increase our awareness by practicing mindfulness. This includes refraining from judging and instead accepting our observations.

In a context of dissonance, this could explain how, over time, feedback from the social environment alters the individual's thoughts and emotions in different situations, eventually changing the usual responses and giving rise to new ways of reducing dissonance. The theory of cognitive dissonance itself suggests that if patients invest time, money, and emotional effort in therapy, they are likely to work hard to achieve their therapeutic goals in order to justify their efforts. A number of different situations can be understood from the fairly simple premises of dissonance theory, and in each of these situations there are many ways to reduce dissonance. Psychologist Joel Cooper recently published a comprehensive update to cognitive dissonance theory after more than 50 years of research.

This subtype is mainly characterized by reducing negative emotions by cognitively highlighting the unrelated positive aspects of the person himself, rather than addressing the dissonant situation. It provides an introduction to theory and covers the topics of cognitive dissonance after decisions, the effects of forced compliance, the impacts of voluntary and involuntary exposure to information, and the role of social support. Since it's unlikely that any of us can completely avoid cognitive dissonance, it's important to detect and resolve or reduce it. As such, there is no set of external signs that can reliably indicate that a person is experiencing cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance occurs when a person has two related but contradictory cognitions or thoughts. The inner discomfort and tension of cognitive dissonance could contribute to stress or unhappiness. As with different emotional reactions, people seem to differ substantially in how they resolve cognitive dissonance within the same situation. A person who feels defensive or unhappy might consider the role that cognitive dissonance might play in these feelings.

Shame is another self-conscious emotion that can arise in dissonant situations related to the violation of SRG, especially in situations where the individual cannot do much to compensate for the dissonant behavior and when the individual attributes the violation of SRG to the global self. A paradigm developed based on the self-consistency framework of cognitive dissonance theory (Aronson, 199), the paradigm of induced hypocrisy, studies people's reactions after realizing their own hypocrisy.

Hilary Gibbons
Hilary Gibbons

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