What are the principles of cognitive dissonance?

Cognitive dissonance theory posits that an underlying psychological tension is created when an individual's behavior is incompatible with their thoughts and beliefs. This underlying tension then motivates a person to make a change in attitude that produces coherence between thoughts and behaviors. Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation that involves conflicting attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors. This causes a sense of mental discomfort that leads to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce discomfort and restore balance.

According to cognitive dissonance theory, individuals tend to seek coherence between their cognitions (that is,. When there is an inconsistency between attitudes or behaviors (dissonance), something must change to eliminate the dissonance. In the case of a discrepancy between attitudes and behavior, the attitude will most likely change to suit the behavior. Dissonance occurs most frequently in situations where an individual must choose between two incompatible beliefs or actions.

The greatest dissonance is created when the two alternatives are equally attractive. In addition, the change in attitude is more likely to lead to a lower incentive, since this translates into less dissonance. In this sense, dissonance theory is contradictory to most behavioral theories, which would predict a greater change in attitude with a greater incentive (that is,. Dissonance theory applies to all situations that involve the formation and change of attitudes.

It is especially relevant for decision making and problem solving. Let's think of someone who buys an expensive car, but finds that it's not comfortable on long trips. There is a dissonance between their beliefs that they have bought a good car and that a good car should be comfortable. Dissonance could be eliminated by deciding that it doesn't matter, since the car is primarily used for short trips (which reduces the importance of dissonant belief) or by focusing on the car's strengths, such as safety, appearance and handling (thus adding more consonant beliefs).

Dissonance could also be eliminated by getting rid of the car, but this behavior is much more difficult to achieve than changing beliefs. As an Amazon associate, we earn money from qualifying purchases. The theory of cognitive dissonance was first presented by Leon Festinger in 1957 to explain the relationships between an individual's motivation, perceptions, and cognitions (Festinger, 196). He clarified the conditions that motivate people to change their opinions, attitudes, beliefs or behaviors.

Festinger (Festinger, 196) defined “cognition” as any knowledge that an individual has about himself or his environment. The theory was based on the belief that people strive to achieve coherence within themselves and are driven to make changes to reduce or eliminate an inconsistency (Cooper, 200). Cognitive dissonance theory began by positing that pairs of cognitions can be relevant or irrelevant to each other. If two cognitions are relevant and concurrent, there is consonance.

However, if two cognitions are relevant, but conflicting, the existence of a dissonance would cause psychological distress and would motivate the individual to act accordingly. The greater the magnitude of dissonance, the greater the pressure on the individual to reduce dissonance (Harmon-Jones %26 Mills, 201.The existence of dissonance and the mechanisms that humans used to deal with it captured Festinger's interest in developing the theory of cognitive dissonance). When there are conflicts between cognitions (thoughts, beliefs, and opinions), people will take steps to reduce dissonance and feelings of discomfort. Everyone experiences cognitive dissonance to some degree, but that doesn't mean it's always easy to recognize.

Finally, many of the studies that support the theory of cognitive dissonance have low ecological validity. In romantic relationships, important values represent critical points of cognitive dissonance and are generally focused on important decisions, such as the desire to have children, lifestyle choices (p. The concept of cognitive dissonance is explained very well in this YouTube video by social psychologist Andy Luttrell. Cognitive dissonance can even influence how people feel and see themselves, leading to negative feelings of self-esteem and self-esteem.

In A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, Leon Festinger (the psychologist who first described this phenomenon) offers an example of how a person can address dissonance related to health behavior by talking about people who continue to smoke, even though they know that it is harmful to their health. The discrepancy between attitude and behavior (eating a donut while thinking about reducing calorie intake) causes a psychological discomfort called cognitive dissonance (Harmon-Jones, 201.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). In response to the limitations of the theory, three revisions of cognitive dissonance theory have been proposed. When someone is forced to do (publicly) something that (privately) they don't really want to do, a dissonance is created between their cognition (I didn't want to do this) and their behavior (I did).

The theory of cognitive dissonance has been extensively researched in several situations to develop the basic idea in more detail, and several factors have been identified that may be important in changing attitudes. Sometimes, the ways in which people resolve cognitive dissonance contribute to unhealthy behaviors or poor choices. Second, the person might reduce the importance of dissonant cognition by thinking that the risk of contracting lung cancer from smoking is lower than that of suffering a car accident. .

Hilary Gibbons
Hilary Gibbons

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