Cognitive dissonance Wikipedia

The literature that is based on cognitive dissonance theory has broadly covered four phases of the process, namely, cognitive discrepancy, dissonance, motivation and discrepancy reduction (Hinojosa et al., 2017). The cognitive discrepancy phase considered a conflict between two or more cognitive elements. The motivation phase focused on the motivational nature of dissonance to reduce the psychological discomfort. Lastly, the discrepancy reduction phase related to dissonance reduction mechanisms.

cognitive dissonance theory

Since participants in the $20 condition had a more substantial justification (higher pay) already, they were further assumed to perceive less dissonance than those in the $1 condition. For example, since individuals typically want to see themselves as ethical people, acting unethically would produce higher levels of dissonance. The average person probably wouldn’t fault you for telling the lie—$500 is a lot of money and for most people would probably be enough to justify a relatively inconsequential lie.

How To Reduce Cognitive Dissonance

Aronson 1992 and Brehm 2007, written by two of Festinger’s historical students, offer historical anecdotic information as well as keystones to understand the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance. In the same vein, Cooper 2019 proposes the author’s personal view of this story, focusing on his own theoretical achievements. Gawronski and Strack 2012 offers an overview of the cognitive consistency field. More aimed at advanced researchers in cognitive dissonance, Harmon-Jones 2019 (the second edition of Harmon-Jones and Mills 1999) is an edited volume that synthesizes modern perspectives on dissonance.

Some common misunderstandings. – Psychology Today

Some common misunderstandings..

Posted: Wed, 03 Jul 2019 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Therapy can help patients by reflecting on and taking control of their thoughts. Sometimes when patients engage in a new, more constructive behavior, they can perceive dissonance simply because it is contrary to the way they used to act. Providing the space and time to understand their new behavior and justifying it can help to reduce the dissonance. Therapists aim to help their patients by understanding and changing their attitudes, emotions, or behaviors. Since cognitive dissonance often naturally occurs after a decision such as a purchase, this is what questionnaires have focused on. Cognitive dissonance was measured indirectly by asking participants about changes in their opinion about how enjoyable the task was following the experiment.

Cognitive Dissonance Theory: A review

It was hypothesized that participants in the Counter-attitudinal condition would experience less Pleasure and more Arousal than participants in the Pro-attitudinal condition. As a classic result in dissonance studies, they were also expected to report more positive attitudes toward the counterattitudinal topic. Participants were invited to participate in a study about students’ attitudes toward tuition fees.

Being paid only $1 is not sufficient incentive for lying and so those who were paid $1 experienced dissonance. They could only overcome that dissonance by coming to believe that the tasks really were interesting and enjoyable. Being paid $20 provides a reason for turning pegs, and there is, therefore, no dissonance. Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) investigated if making people perform a dull task would create cognitive dissonance through forced compliance behavior.

Reduce the importance of the cognitions (i.e., beliefs, attitudes).

Cognitive dissonance is a term for the state of discomfort felt when two or more modes of thought contradict each other. The clashing cognitions may include ideas, beliefs, or the knowledge that one has behaved in a certain way. If we put effort into a task that we have chosen to carry out, and the task turns out badly, we experience dissonance. To reduce this dissonance, we are motivated to try to think that the task turned out well.

  • It has been used to explain and predict the motivational nature of dissonance that led to attitude and behaviour changes at both the individual and organisational level.
  • There is also some ambiguity (i.e., vagueness) about the term “dissonance” itself.
  • It clarified the conditions that motivate individuals to change their opinions, attitudes, beliefs or behaviours.
  • The next step is to identify the cause of inconsistencies in our thoughts.
  • Given the strength of supporting evidence linking cognitive dissonance to arousal in the literature, this absence is peculiar.
  • If a woman reads that her favorite politician has done something immoral, she could conclude that the charges have been invented by his enemies—or, instead, rethink her support.

For example, when people smoke (behavior) and they know that smoking causes cancer (cognition), they are in a state of cognitive dissonance. Such analysis of data is very personal, and it’s easy to become defensive and blame others. Using cognitive dissonance in these analyses helps foster dynamic discussions among educators, through debate, exchange of ideas, and collaboration. Despite its complexity, when administered properly, cognitive dissonance can lead to vibrant conversations and serve as a catalyst for growth and improvement. Dissonance as a result of inconsistencies of attitudes and behavior occurs when there are discrepancies between what we believe and what we do. Alternatively, they may reduce cognitive dissonance by being mindful of their values and pursuing opportunities to live those values.

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