What are the three factors of cognitive dissonance?

Grapes are out of reach. The fox, which does not give up easily, tries to reach the grapes again, but despite all its efforts, it cannot reach the grapes. After several failed attempts, the fox finally gives up. As he wanders through the forest looking for something else to fill his stomach, the fox tells himself that the grapes were probably sour anyway.

Why do you say that, when you know for a fact that the grapes were ripe and juicy? Enforced compliance behavior refers to situations in which a person is forced to perform actions that are not consistent with their beliefs. Let's think of an accountant whose boss tells her to cover up a case of financial embezzlement. The accountant believes that this is wrong, but she may be forced to do so to keep her job. You have to make hundreds of decisions to get through each day.

What you may not know is that decision-making generally arouses dissonance. This is because all decisions involve choosing between two or more alternatives. Each alternative has its advantages and disadvantages. Choosing an alternative means that you will forego all the advantages of the unchosen alternative and, at the same time, it will guarantee you the disadvantages of the chosen decision, which is known as the opportunity cost of decision.

Humans tend to value achievements based on the amount of effort it took to achieve them. A person who had to save for 10 years to buy a Ferrari will value it more than that young man who made millions with cryptocurrencies in four months and bought a similar Ferrari. Things that require significant effort are valued more because we would experience dissonance if we dedicated a great deal of effort only to achieve a minor achievement. Unfortunately, the world doesn't always work this way.

Sometimes, we try really hard just to get a discouraging result. To reduce this dissonance, we either convince ourselves that the result was good, that we didn't really make much effort, or that the effort was pleasant. This is known as justification of effort. Decision-making is everywhere in everyone's life.

Decisions are what promote dissonance. For example, if you have to decide if you want to travel to a specific country abroad or if you want to invest the money in savings, you may feel a dissonance. If you go on the excursion and spend money, you'll have beautiful memories and the experience of a lifetime, but you won't have savings, and if you save the money, you'll have a bright future, but without experience or memories. It may be the case that these goals are more valued, which require a lot of effort to achieve them.

This is because it can cause dissonance. If we put a lot of effort into achieving something minimal and evaluate it negatively, then it doesn't make sense and doesn't add up. We could spend many years striving to achieve something. Then it turns out to be very insignificant and rubbish and, later, to avoid dissonance, and when it happens, you try to convince that you didn't spend many years or much effort or that the effort was quite pleasant.

In fact, it's more comfortable to be persuaded and convinced that what we've achieved is worth it and that's what a lot of people do. They validate that, something whose achievement has cost them a lot. This is the method for reducing dissonance, which is called justification of effort. If we put the effort into achieving the task and if the task turns out to be bad or negative, then we experience a dissonance in the effort.

To minimize this dissonance, people are motivated to think that the task went well and that it required a lot of justified effort. Here's a video from Marketing91 on cognitive dissonance. The theory of cognitive dissonance is one of the most studied, debated and influential theories in social psychology. Over the years, several revisions of the theory have been proposed, including self-consistency theory, self-assertion theory, dissonance theory, and the self-standards model.

Cognitive dissonance theory explains many aspects of human behavior and has numerous applications in the real world. Cognitive dissonance refers to a feeling of mental discomfort that occurs when a person has contradictory thoughts, beliefs, ideas, attitudes, information, or behaviors (dissonance). The more attractive or similar the two alternatives are, the greater the cognitive dissonance you will experience. Cognitive dissonance refers to feelings of discomfort that arise when a person's behavior or attitude conflicts with the person's values and beliefs, or when they are presented with new information that is contrary to their beliefs.

In his view, dissonance is not the result of a discrepancy between two important cognitions, but is more likely to occur when these cognitions relate to a person's self-concept. After carrying out several experiments, Leon Festinger devised the theory of cognitive dissonance. Another major cause of cognitive dissonance is finding information that goes against our beliefs. Cognitive dissonance occurs when you are in situations where there is an inconsistency between your values, beliefs, attitudes, and actions.

Just as hunger motivates people to eat to reduce their hunger, cognitive dissonance encourages people to act in ways that reduce their discomfort. The uncomfortable feeling caused by cognitive dissonance can manifest as stress, anxiety, regret, shame, or feelings of negative self-esteem. Since then, cognitive dissonance theory has become the most influential and most researched theory in social psychology. However, sometimes the feeling of discomfort becomes strong enough for you to realize that something isn't right, even if you don't recognize that you're experiencing cognitive dissonance.


Hilary Gibbons
Hilary Gibbons

Subtly charming twitter ninja. Freelance zombie guru. Friendly bacon enthusiast. Tv scholar. Extreme food junkie.