Psychologist Leon Festinger published the book A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance in 1957. Among the examples he used to illustrate the theory were doomsday cult members and their explanations for why the world had not ended as they had anticipated. Many experiments have since been conducted to illustrate cognitive dissonance in more ordinary contexts. Cognitive dissonance, first introduced by the renowned psychologist Leon Festinger in the 1950s, refers to the discomfort we experience when our thoughts, beliefs, or values clash with one another. Cardello and Sawyer (1992) conducted a study in which consumers were given one of four different types of information about pomegranate juice, i.e. that the juice was ‘very bitter’, had ‘average bitterness’, was ‘not bitter at all’, or no information. The consumers rated their expected experience of the bitterness and other sensory and hedonic attributes of the juice prior to tasting it.
Therefore, Hafer and Gosse (2010) suggest that some situational characteristics likely influence the degree to which specific BJW-defense strategies are pursued by affecting perceived effortfulness or availability of strategies. For example, situations can contain cues that a victim is to blame for his or her situation (e.g., Haynes & Olson, 2006). In such a case, blaming the victim requires only moderate cognitive effort and therefore might be employed to a greater extent than other, more effortful ways of maintaining BJW. Additionally, according to justice motive theory, if helping a victim of injustice is unavailable as a means of preserving BJW, then people are more likely to engage in cognitive distortions (Lerner & Miller, 1978). The use of the Internet offers the additional benefit of enabling both a universal and targeted program as initial activities can include screening for risk factors and tailoring the subsequent content. For example, ‘Student Bodies’ is an 8-week psycho-educational eating disorder prevention program that was developed in the United States and trialed among female adolescents (mean age 15.1 years) and their parents.
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For example, after you finally decide which of two toothpaste brands to buy, you internally make yourself feel good about your purchasing decision. Even if you’re not fully satisfied with how the toothpaste works, you might justify the purchase by telling yourself it was on sale when you bought it. In other words, he could cognitive dissonance treatment tell himself that a short life filled with smoking and sensual pleasures is better than a long life devoid of such joys. In this way, he would be decreasing the importance of dissonant cognition (smoking is bad for one’s health). For example, thinking smoking causes lung cancer will cause dissonance if a person smokes.
- This approach can make spending more on premium pet food appear less of an issue, thereby reducing the sense of dissonance.
- The individuals are therefore motivated to reduce the conflict by justifying the decision they have made.
- One solution to this truth problem would be to try to make sense of what happened by establishing some new reality.
- If listeners feel they are being coerced into doing something, then dissonance will not be aroused.
Whether you resolve feelings of cognitive dissonance may depend on influences from work and family, your goals, or your identity. As a result of wanting to resolve the mental conflict of cognitive dissonance, people might either change their behavior or ignore information that goes against their desires and goals. For example, the smoker might either quit smoking or rationalize their smoking by saying other habits are just as dangerous. Yes, cognitive dissonance is the inconsistency and incompatibility of a person’s values, attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors.
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Cognitive dissonance can interfere with the perceptions they hold about themselves and their abilities, which is why it can often feel so uncomfortable and unpleasant. Understanding our mechanisms with which we reduce dissonance and recognizing when it occurs are key to making informed and constructive decisions. Self-awareness and mindfulness practice empower us to notice inconsistencies in our thinking and find the space between dissonance triggers and our reaction so we can choose a response we are truly happy with.
The gradual differentiation of mental states with a significant degree of voluntary control over each part (emotions, concepts, behavior) gradually evolved along with language and brain rewiring. With the evolution of language the human psyche lost its unity—the inborn connectedness of knowledge, emotions, and behavior. When you understand how cognitive dissonance impacts https://ecosoberhouse.com/recovery-residence/ your target audience, you can begin to explore ways to resolve those feelings of discomfort. Businesses should promote a positive organizational culture that aligns with their stated values. This will help to reduce the amount of cognitive dissonance employees experience between their personal values and those promoted by the company, boosting morale and productivity.
Does cognitive dissonance explain the link between attitudes and behaviors?
Festinger argued that cognitive dissonance is more intense when a person holds many dissonant views and those views are important to them. Cognitive dissonance occurs when a person holds two related but contradictory cognitions, or thoughts. Read on to learn more about cognitive dissonance, including examples, signs a person might be experiencing it, causes, and how to resolve it. A powerful cognitive mechanism must have emerged in parallel with language, which would have enabled holding contradictory cognitions. A hypothesis advanced by Perlovsky (2006, 2010, 2012a,b, in press) suggests that music has been this powerful mechanism that enables us and our predecessors to maintain contradictory cognitions. It can work positively by prompting a person to healthier or more positive change.
This is often very difficult, as people frequently employ a variety of mental maneuvers. When one of the dissonant elements is a behavior, the individual can change or eliminate the behavior. Participants in the “severe embarrassment” condition gave the most positive rating. A classic dissonance experiment by Aronson and Mills (1959) demonstrates the basic idea.
When facing a decision between two similar options, for example, you feel dissonance because both are equally appealing. After you’ve made your selection, your mind seeks to reinforce your decision as the right one, to reduce feelings of discomfort. This produces a feeling of mental discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance.
A person who cares about their health might be disturbed to learn that sitting for long periods during the day is linked to a shortened lifespan. Since they work all day in an office and spend a great deal of time sitting, it is difficult to change their behavior. People like to believe that they are logical, consistent, and good at making decisions.