Which three factors appear to be most important in reducing cognitive dissonance?

Additional research found that not only is dissonance psychologically uncomfortable, but it can also cause physiological arousal (Croyle %26 Cooper, 198) and activate brain regions important for emotions and cognitive functioning (van Veen, Krug, Schooler, %26 Carter, 200). The idea is that choosing something that is contrary to what you feel or what you believe in will generate cognitive dissonance. To explain this phenomenon, psychologist Leon Festinger presented the idea of cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is not a mental health condition and a person does not necessarily need treatment for it.

For example, a person may get so tired of feeling cognitive dissonance every time they smoke that they seek help. The inner discomfort and tension of cognitive dissonance could contribute to stress or unhappiness. A person who experiences internal inconsistency tends to feel psychologically uncomfortable and is motivated to reduce cognitive dissonance. The brain will try to resolve cognitive dissonance on its own, but that doesn't mean you can't have a say in the process.

Believing that cigarettes are bad for your health, but smoking cigarettes can cause cognitive dissonance anyway. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people seek psychological coherence between their life expectancy and the existential reality of the world. As such, there is no set of external signs that can reliably indicate that a person is experiencing cognitive dissonance. The most effective way to resolve cognitive dissonance is for a person to ensure that their actions are consistent with their values, or vice versa.

Cognitive dissonance occurs when a person has two related but contradictory cognitions or thoughts.

Hilary Gibbons
Hilary Gibbons

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