Cognitive Dissonance: Theory, Examples & How to Reduce It (2023)

Cognitive Dissonance: Theory, Examples & How to Reduce It (1)“Tomorrow I will start my diet,” I reflected, while munching a doughnut.

If this has ever happened to you, you have experienced first-hand what this article is about: what happens when we act in a way that does not align with who we believe we are.

That slight feeling of discomfort we perceive when noticing this mismatch is called cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is powerful because we are highly driven to eliminate it. The way we do that can be transformative or destructive. Interestingly, we often do so without being aware of it.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free. These science-based exercises will provide you with detailed insight into Positive CBT and give you the tools to apply it in your therapy or coaching.

This Article Contains:

  • Cognitive Dissonance: Festinger’s Theory
  • A Real-Life Example
  • 4 Ways to Address Cognitive Dissonance
  • A Look at Research Findings
  • Assessing Cognitive Dissonance: 2 Questionnaires
  • Dealing With Dissonance in Therapy: 4 Tips
  • A Note on Cognitive Dissonance in Relationships
  • 2 Books on the Topic
  • 4 Interesting Podcast Episodes on the Subject
  • PositivePsychology.com’s Relevant Resources
  • A Take-Home Message
  • References

Cognitive Dissonance: Festinger’s Theory

A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.

Leon Festinger, A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance

Over 60 years ago, Leon Festinger (1957) postulated one of the most well-known theories of psychology: cognitive dissonance theory.

The theory is based on the idea that two cognitions can be relevant or irrelevant to each other (Festinger, 1957). Such cognitions can be about behaviors, perceptions, attitudes, emotions, and beliefs. Often, one of the cognitions in question is about our behavior. If the cognitions are relevant, they can be in agreement (consistent) or disagreement (inconsistent) with one another (Festinger, 1957).

Discrepancy between an attitude and a behavior – eating a doughnut while thinking of reducing calorie intake – leads to psychological discomfort called cognitive dissonance (Harmon-Jones, 2019).

(Video) Cognitive Dissonance Theory: A Crash Course

Cognitive dissonance leads to the motivation to reduce the dissonance (Festinger, 1957). The stronger the discrepancy between thoughts, the greater the motivation to reduce it (Festinger, 1957).

There are four strategies used to do reduce the discomfort of cognitive dissonance:

  1. We change our behavior so that it is consistent with the other thought.
  2. We change one of the dissonant thoughts in order to restore consistency.
  3. We add other (consonant) thoughts that justify or reduce the importance of one thought and therefore diminish the inconsistency.
  4. We trivialize the inconsistency altogether, making it less important and less relevant.

There are two other factors that influence the magnitude of cognitive dissonance: whether you had some choice over the inconsistency and whether you expect the inconsistency to have negative consequences in the future. The more choice you had over the inconsistency (Linder, Cooper, & Jones, 1967) and the worse the consequences (Cooper & Worchel, 1970), the stronger the dissonance will be.

Dissonance can also be experienced vicariously through people of a social group that we identify with. When they act inconsistently with their attitude, we feel the same discomfort as if we had acted inconsistently with our attitude ourselves (Cooper, 2016).

The concept of cognitive dissonance is nicely explained in this YouTube video by social psychologist Andy Luttrell.

A Real-Life Example

Cognitive dissonance occurs frequently and to all of us (Harmon-Jones, 2019).

Imagine confronting a sunbather with the information that excessive sun exposure is the leading cause of skin cancer. The two thoughts – ‘sunbathing can cause cancer’ and ‘I am sunbathing’ – will cause the discomfort of cognitive dissonance. Consequently, they will be motivated to reduce it.

They will do this in one of four ways:

  1. They change their behavior. Upon acquiring the additional information, they might stop sunbathing.
  2. They change one thought. They might decide to deny the evidence showing a link between sun exposure and skin cancer.
  3. They add other (consonant) thoughts. They might think that sun exposure is necessary for the body to produce vitamin D, which is important for bone health, among other benefits. Therefore, they may decide that a little sunbathing is good for their health.
  4. They trivialize the inconsistency. They might think that facts like that have been disproven plenty of times before and disregard the information altogether.

4 Ways to Address Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance: Theory, Examples & How to Reduce It (2)Cognitive dissonance is not necessarily a bad thing.

In fact, it is a psychological mechanism that helps us perceive our world (and our place in it) consistently. It is a mechanism that alerts us when we are not acting in line with our beliefs, attitudes, or plans.

In that sense, the experience of cognitive dissonance is an opportunity to learn and grow, as long as we deal with it constructively and respond in a way that we choose and is beneficial.

1. Mindfulness

Often, we deal with cognitive inconsistencies without being aware of them. The first step is to notice inconsistencies between our thoughts. We can raise our awareness through mindfulness practice. This includes refraining from judgment and instead being accepting of our observations.

2. Challenge current beliefs

The next step is to identify the cause of inconsistencies in our thoughts. Understanding your beliefs and values behind the inconsistencies is an opportunity to develop deeper self-knowledge.

Sometimes, it’s helpful to challenge our current beliefs. This can be a difficult and uncomfortable process and involves getting additional information.

3. Consider the importance of dissonant thoughts

Sometimes the dissonant information appears to be important at first sight but can be diminished upon deeper reflection.

(Video) Ways To Reduce Cognitive Dissonance

A good example is the prospect of embarrassing ourselves in front of others, such as by forgetting our words during a speech. However, after further thought, we may decide that it does not matter what others think of us and can thus reduce the dissonance.

4. Justifying behavior

We may perceive dissonance when we engage in a new behavior (e.g., when we decline an invitation to an event we usually attend in order to protect our leisure time). While this can feel uncomfortable at first, it’s helpful to reflect on the reasons behind our behavior.

A Look at Research Findings

Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) conducted one of the first studies examining cognitive dissonance.

In a three-group experimental design, they asked participants to complete a boring and monotonous task. Subsequently, intervention group participants were offered either $1 or $20 (under random selection) to engage in so-called counter-attitudinal behavior: telling the next participant that the task was enjoyable.

The researchers hypothesized that the intervention group participants would experience cognitive dissonance as a result of two conflicting thoughts: 1) the task is boring and 2) I am telling someone the task is fun.

They further presupposed that participants would be driven to reduce the dissonance by justifying their behavior. 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.

Cognitive dissonance was measured indirectly by asking participants about changes in their opinion about how enjoyable the task was following the experiment.

As hypothesized, those in the $1 condition reported a significantly greater change of their opinion about the task than the other two groups. You can watch the following video clip about the study.

Assessing Cognitive Dissonance: 2 Questionnaires

One of the criticisms about cognitive dissonance is that we cannot measure it directly (Harmon-Jones, 2019). Thus far, research studies have typically assessed cognitive dissonance using various indirect measures including:

  • Changes in attitude toward a specific, context-dependent topic, such as enjoyment of the mundane task in the experiment described above (Festinger & Carlsmith, 1959)
  • Information seeking following a change in usual behavior (Engel, 1963)
  • Differences in task performance as a result of the physical arousal associated with dissonance (Elliot & Devine, 1994)
  • Galvanic skin responses (Elkin & Leippe, 1986)

More recently, psychometric measurement scales were developed. Since cognitive dissonance often naturally occurs after a decision such as a purchase, this is what questionnaires have focused on.

Sweeney, Hausknecht, and Soutar (2000) developed a 22-item scale measuring cognitive dissonance immediately following a purchase. It examines three dimensions of cognitive dissonance:

  1. Emotional consequences of the purchase (‘After I bought this product, I felt annoyed’)
  2. Judgment regarding the wisdom of the purchase (‘I wonder if I made the right choice’)
  3. Concern over the deal (‘After I bought this product, I wondered if they had fooled me’)

The questionnaire can be downloaded free from ResearchGate.

Koller and Salzberger (2007) developed an eight-item consumer behavior scale. Their questionnaire includes items regarding the decision-making process before and after the purchase. The full text can be requested from the authors free of charge via the ResearchGate website.

Dealing With Dissonance in Therapy: 4 Tips

Cognitive Dissonance: Theory, Examples & How to Reduce It (3)According to psychology professor Joel Cooper (2007), “Most therapies seek to change people’s maladaptive reactions to their social world to more adaptive responses.”

Therapists aim to help their patients by understanding and changing their attitudes, emotions, or behaviors. Dissonance can be hard to address constructively. The following tips consider its use or presence in therapy.

(Video) Cognitive Dissonance (Definition + 3 Examples)

1. Induce effort

Cognitive dissonance theory itself suggests that if patients are investing time, money, and emotional effort in the therapy, they will be likely to work hard to reach their therapeutic goals in order to justify their efforts.

2. Provide choice

If patients are provided with the opportunity to co-design aspects of their therapy, they may be more likely to act in line with their choices by reaching their therapeutic goals.

3. Provide a safe space and consider the use of relaxation techniques

Patients are likely to feel uncomfortable when dissonant thoughts are discussed, which can impede their ability to think constructively.

4. Discussing discrepant behavior

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.

A Note on Cognitive Dissonance in Relationships

Cognitive dissonance and the way we cope with it regularly affect our relationships, too, both positively and negatively.

Relationships are typically built on shared attitudes, beliefs, and values. When our friends or partners act contrary to our beliefs and values, we perceive dissonance.

Coping mechanisms can include justifying their behavior (and our relationship with them), trivializing their behavior or the importance of it, attempting to change their behavior, or changing our own behavior.

This offers opportunities to discuss the discrepancies, deepen the relationship, and re-align values. Conversely, we may justify or trivialize negative behavior or even end the relationship.

In romantic relationships, important values represent hotspots for cognitive dissonance and typically center on big decisions, such as the wish to have children, lifestyle choices (e.g., buying a house vs. traveling the world), and issues related to family and friends.

The expectation of shared beliefs, values, and attitudes from family members can additionally influence romantic relationships. If these don’t align, we might consider justifying our relationship or breaking up. An extreme example of the negative consequences of cognitive dissonance is when we justify our partner’s harmful behavior toward us and get stuck in a toxic relationship.

2 Books on the Topic

1. A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance – Leon Festinger

Cognitive Dissonance: Theory, Examples & How to Reduce It (4)

The original book by Leon Festinger is a staple on every (social) psychologist’s bookshelf.

It provides an introduction to the theory and covers the topics of cognitive dissonance following decisions, the effects of forced compliance, the impacts of voluntary and involuntary exposure to information, and the role of social support.

Find the book on Amazon.

2. Cognitive Dissonance: 50 Years of a Classic Theory – Joel Cooper

Cognitive Dissonance: Theory, Examples & How to Reduce It (5)

(Video) Cognitive dissonance, what is it, how to reduce and why

Psychologist Joel Cooper recently published a comprehensive update of cognitive dissonance theory after more than 50 years of research.

This book includes examples of cognitive dissonance in today’s world.

Find the book on Amazon.

4 Interesting Podcast Episodes on the Subject

The Psych Files is hosted by psychologist Dr. Michael A. Britt and has several episodes on cognitive dissonance:

  • Episode 8: Cognitive Dissonance Theory: Why Contradictions Bother Us So Much
  • Episode 10: Cognitive Dissonance Strikes Again! What Your Search on Amazon Says About You
  • Episode 63: Cognitive Dissonance, the Monty Hall Problem and a Possible Resolution?

This episode of the podcast Behavioral Grooves features an interview with Dr. Kathleen Vohs on cognitive dissonance theory. Dr. Vohs discusses the topic as it relates to supporters of Former President Donald Trump justifying one of his controversial tweets in 2019.

PositivePsychology.com’s Relevant Resources

The following resources will make great supplemental support on the topic:

  • 20 Most Popular Theories of Motivation in Psychology provides an introductory overview of motivation theories.
  • Identifying and Challenging Core Beliefs: 12 Helpful Worksheets will help you identify core beliefs that play a role in your experience of cognitive dissonance.
  • You can use the Setting Valued Goals tool to help your clients reflect on their personal values and begin living into these in a more purposeful, satisfying way.
  • Our Mindfulness Masterclass© provides a comprehensive opportunity to understand and cultivate mindfulness practice.
  • The Meaning and Valued Living Masterclass© provides you with the means to help your clients understand their core values.
  • If you’re looking for more science-based ways to help others through CBT, this collection contains 17 validated positive CBT tools for practitioners. Use them to help others overcome unhelpful thoughts and feelings and develop more positive behaviors.

A Take-Home Message

Cognitive dissonance is a well-researched psychological phenomenon. It occurs in all of us frequently, not just when planning to diet and justifying a doughnut with a delayed diet start.

Negative consequences of cognitive dissonance reduction include procrastination or acting seemingly contrary to our values and beliefs. However, it can be beneficial to remind ourselves that it exists as a psychological safety mechanism to help us perceive the world consistently and to protect the perception we have about ourselves.

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.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free.

References

  • Cooper, J. (2007). Cognitive dissonance: 50 Years of a classic theory. SAGE Publications.
  • Cooper, J. (2016). Vicarious cognitive dissonance: Changing attitudes by experiencing another’s pain. In J. P. Forgas, J. Cooper, & W. D. Crano (Eds.), The psychology of attitudes and attitude change. Psychology Press.
  • Cooper, J., & Worchel, S. (1970). Role of undesired consequences in arousing cognitive dissonance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 16(2), 199–206.
  • Elkin, R. A., & Leippe, M. R. (1986). Physiological arousal, dissonance, and attitude change: Evidence for a dissonance-arousal link and a “don’t remind me” effect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(1), 55–65.
  • Elliot, A. J., & Devine, P. G. (1994). On the motivational nature of cognitive dissonance: Dissonance as psychological discomfort. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67(3), 382–394.
  • Engel, J. F. (1963). Are automobile purchasers dissonant consumers? Journal of Marketing, 27(2), 55–58.
  • Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford University Press.
  • Festinger, L., & Carlsmith, J. M. (1959). Cognitive consequences of forced compliance. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 58(2), 203–210.
  • Harmon-Jones, E. (Ed.) (2019). Cognitive dissonance: Reexamining a pivotal theory in psychology (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association.
  • Koller, M., & Salzberger, T. (2007). Cognitive dissonance as a relevant construct throughout the decision-making and consumption process – An empirical investigation related to a package tour. Journal of Customer Behaviour, 6(3), 217–227.
  • Linder, D. E., Cooper, J., & Jones, E. E. (1967). Decision freedom as a determinant of the role of incentive magnitude in attitude change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6(3), 245–254.
  • Sweeney, J. C., Hausknecht, D., & Soutar, G. N. (2000). Cognitive dissonance after purchase: A multidimensional scale. Psychology & Marketing, 17(5), 369–385.

FAQs

What is cognitive dissonance and how can it be reduced? ›

How is Cognitive Dissonance Resolved? Dissonance can be reduced in one of three ways: a) changing existing beliefs, b) adding new beliefs, or c) reducing the importance of the beliefs.

What is the cognitive dissonance theory and give an example? ›

In "A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance," Leon Festinger (the psychologist who first described this phenomenon) gives an example of how a person might deal with dissonance related to a health behavior by discussing individuals who continue to smoke, even though they know it is harmful to their health.

What is dissonance and how do you reduce it as explained in the cognitive dissonance theory of Festinger? ›

The central thesis of cognitive dissonance theory (Festinger, 1957) is that when two beliefs are inconsistent, individuals experience negatively arousing cognitive conflict (called dissonance). Because the dissonance is aversive, the individuals try to reduce it by changing one or the other beliefs.

Which is the best example of cognitive dissonance? ›

That feeling of mental discomfort about using plastic bags is an example of cognitive dissonance. This is because your beliefs are clashing with your actions or behavior. You believe that humans need to protect the environment, but you still use plastic bags. The internal conflict that this causes makes you feel bad.

Which of the following is most likely to reduce cognitive dissonance? ›

Of the following, how are individuals most likely to reduce cognitive dissonance? By adding new cognitions that are consistent with their behavior.

What is one way a person can resolve 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. A person can achieve this by: Changing their actions: This involves changing behavior so it matches a person's beliefs.

How is cognitive dissonance reduced quizlet? ›

How might you reduce cognitive dissonance? The tendency to overestimate the intensity and duration of our emotional reactions to future negative events. Dissonance aroused after making a decision, typically reduced by enhancing the attractiveness of the chosen alternative and devaluating the rejected alternatives.

How can cognitive dissonance help reduce unconscious prejudice or discrimination behavior? ›

How can cognitive dissonance help to reduce unconsciously prejudiced or discriminatory behavior? A. Cognitive dissonance creates a tension between the intentions and the actions that the individual is motivated to reduce by changing one's behavior.

What is an example of a dissonance? ›

A baby crying, a person screaming and an alarm going off are all common examples of dissonance. These sounds are annoying, disruptive or put a listener on edge.

What is an example of cognitive dissonance in the workplace? ›

For example, a HR manager who is asked to dismiss an employee for misconduct without appropriate evidence or with the evidence pointing against the actions being taken will experience significant cognitive dissonance.

How do you explain cognitive dissonance? ›

Cognitive dissonance is a mental conflict that occurs when your beliefs don't line up with your actions. It's an uncomfortable state of mind when someone has contradictory values, attitudes, or perspectives about the same thing.

What factors determine an individual's desire to reduce dissonance? ›

Festinger assumed three major manners in which an individual could reduce dissonance: (1) change one of the dissonant cognitions (e.g., attitude change); (2) add consonant cognitions so that the overall inconsistency decreases (e.g., seeking information that explains one's inconsistent behavior); and (3) decrease the ...

What are the 3 causes of cognitive dissonance? ›

Dissonant cognitions are usually caused by a mismatch in beliefs and behaviors. Festinger's theory identified three primary triggers, or causes, of cognitive dissonance: forced compliance, decision-making, and effort.

What is the $1 /$ 20 experiment and why is it important to cognitive dissonance theory? ›

Some subjects were paid $1 for lying, while others were paid $20. Based on dissonance theory, Festinger correctly predicted that the subjects who were paid $1 for lying later evaluated the tasks as more enjoyable than those who were paid $20.

How do you deal with cognitive dissonance in the workplace? ›

To reduce cognitive dissonance in training, the training should focus on changing 3 things: Changing one or more attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors in a way as to make them consonant with the other one. Acquiring new information that resolves the old dissonant belief, behavior, or attitude without a doubt.

How do you use cognitive dissonance to persuade? ›

As a speaker, if you want to increase cognitive dissonance, you need to make sure that your audience doesn't feel coerced or manipulated, but rather that they can clearly see that they have a choice of whether to be persuaded.

How do you use cognitive dissonance in a sentence? ›

Hughes writes that she began to feel emotional and cognitive dissonance between her scientific studies and the feminist activist work she was doing.

How do you overcome cognitive dominance? ›

Cognitive dominance can be overcome only in an atmosphere free of domination, so that the parties involved can enter into a discourse. Such discourses can be facilitated through a domination free discussion approach.

When people's actions are not consistent with their beliefs How do people usually reduce dissonance? ›

There are three ways to eliminate dissonance: (1) reduce the importance of the dissonant beliefs, (2) add more consonant beliefs that outweigh the dissonant beliefs, or (3) change the dissonant beliefs so that they are no longer inconsistent.

How does cognitive dissonance affect decision-making? ›

Cognitive dissonance occurs when a person believes in two contradictory things at the same time. Within investing and in other areas, failing to resolve it can lead to irrational decision-making.

What is one way a person can resolve cognitive dissonance quizlet? ›

A person can reduce cognitive dissonance by (1) changing behavior so that it matches the concept with which she is dissonant, (2) justify behavior by trying to change dissonant thoughts, or (3) justify behavior by adding new perceptions.

Can cognitive dissonance be cured? ›

There is no cure, but there are things you can do to treat it. In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the theory that our brains cannot hold two conflicting ideas at the same time. For example: when people smoke even though they know smoking causes cancer, they are experiencing cognitive dissonance.

What is dissonance reduction? ›

the process by which a person reduces the uncomfortable psychological state that results from inconsistency among elements of a cognitive system (see cognitive dissonance).

What is an example of cognitive dissonance quizlet? ›

Example: i think exercising is good for you, but i wonder what we are having for dinner. - Happens when we have dissonant cognitions. - When we have inconsistency in our cognitions or when we have inconsistency in our behavior, then we experience cognitive dissonance.

What happens when a person experiences cognitive dissonance quizlet? ›

The distressing mental state caused by inconsistency between a person's two beliefs or a belief and an action. The tendency people have to avoid information that would create cognitive dissonance because it's incompatible with their current beliefs.

What do people feel when they have cognitive dissonance quizlet? ›

The discomfort that people feel when two cognitions (beliefs/attitudes) that they hold conflict, or when they behave in ways that are inconsistent with their conception of themselves.

What components are necessary for cognitive dissonance? ›

The components necessary to create cognitive dissonance are a thought and a behavior that are inconsistent and the individual feels badly that they are not acting as they believe they should (remember this component it is essential).

What is the opposite of cognitive dissonance? ›

One term that can be regarded as the opposite of cognitive dissonance is cognitive consonance. Cognitive consonance refers to a state of congruence between our beliefs, behaviors, and values. Cognitive dissonance refers to a person's thoughts that are inconsistent and contradictory.

How narcissists use cognitive dissonance to their advantage? ›

Narcissists use empty promises and future faking to keep you hooked. And they take advantage of your belief that they are inherently good so that you'll explain it away every time they flake. If you find yourself constantly second-guessing your memory — that's a red flag.

What is another term for cognitive dissonance? ›

In this page you can discover 4 synonyms, antonyms, idiomatic expressions, and related words for cognitive-dissonance, like: confusion, sensory-overload, babel and confoundment.

How does brain react to cognitive dissonance? ›

Additional studies have revealed that cognitive dissonance engages other brain regions, such as the insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). The insula, which processes emotions, often becomes more active when people are upset or angry, and the DLPFC is strongly associated with cognitive control.

How can marketing reduce cognitive dissonance? ›

There are three key strategies to reduce or minimize cognitive dissonance: • Focus on more supportive beliefs that outweigh the dissonant belief or behavior. Reduce the importance of the conflicting belief. Change the conflicting belief so that it is consistent with other beliefs or behaviors.

What is an example cognitive? ›

Example of cognitive psychology

The concept of learning itself is also an example of cognition. This is about the way in which the brain makes connections while remembering what is learned. The ability to reason logically is an excellent example of cognition, problem solving and making judgments about information.

How does cognitive dissonance affect an employee's behavior? ›

As a result, cognitive dissonance starts affecting employees negatively. this may cause low job satisfaction and low job performance. If it is not resolved in a due time, employees start to be absent and try to avoid the workplace where they feel uncomfortable.

What causes cognitive dissonance in a workplace? ›

Research indicates that the most common causes of Cognitive Dissonance experienced by employees are – unhealthy leadership styles, bullying, discrimination, inappropriate business practices and personal behaviors at the workplace.

Is cognitive dissonance one word? ›

noun Psychology. anxiety that results from simultaneously holding contradictory or otherwise incompatible attitudes, beliefs, or the like, as when one likes a person but disapproves strongly of one of his or her habits.

Do some people not experience cognitive dissonance? ›

Though a person may not always resolve cognitive dissonance, the response to it may range from ignoring the source of it to changing one's beliefs or behavior to eliminate the conflict.

What is cognitive dissonance and how can it be reduced? ›

How is Cognitive Dissonance Resolved? Dissonance can be reduced in one of three ways: a) changing existing beliefs, b) adding new beliefs, or c) reducing the importance of the beliefs.

What is cognitive dissonance give an example? ›

Examples of Cognitive Dissonance

You want to be healthy, but you don't exercise regularly or eat a nutritious diet. You feel guilty as a result. You know that smoking (or drinking too much) is harmful to your health, but you do it anyway. You rationalize this action by pointing to your high stress levels.

What are 7 signs of cognitive dissonance? ›

Signs of cognitive dissonance

discomfort before making a decision. feelings of guilt over past decisions. shame or embarrassment regarding a decision and hiding said decisions from others as a result. justification or rationalization of behavior.

Which is the best example of cognitive dissonance? ›

That feeling of mental discomfort about using plastic bags is an example of cognitive dissonance. This is because your beliefs are clashing with your actions or behavior. You believe that humans need to protect the environment, but you still use plastic bags. The internal conflict that this causes makes you feel bad.

Which of the following would result in cognitive dissonance *? ›

Cognitive dissonance is the result of having beliefs that contradict each other. It can feel like a person is being pulled in two different directions by their beliefs.

How do listeners deal with dissonance? ›

Discredit the source of the information. Refocus on parts of the message not creating dissonance. Seek new information to prove speaker's ideas wrong.

What is the primary reason that people's behaviors do not always match their attitudes? ›

What is the primary reason that people's behaviors do not always match their attitudes? personal identity. Which subfield of psychology is concerned with how a person's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by interactions with others?

What is one way a person can resolve cognitive dissonance? ›

One way to resolve this discomfort is to shift one's attitudes in line with one's behavior. In the decision making process, when does dissonance occur? subtly compelling people to behave in a manner that is inconsistent with their beliefs in order to elicit dissonance, and therefore a change in their original views.

How is cognitive dissonance reduced quizlet? ›

How might you reduce cognitive dissonance? The tendency to overestimate the intensity and duration of our emotional reactions to future negative events. Dissonance aroused after making a decision, typically reduced by enhancing the attractiveness of the chosen alternative and devaluating the rejected alternatives.

What is an example of cognitive dissonance in the workplace? ›

For example, a HR manager who is asked to dismiss an employee for misconduct without appropriate evidence or with the evidence pointing against the actions being taken will experience significant cognitive dissonance.

What are 7 signs of cognitive dissonance? ›

What Are The Signs You Might Be Experiencing Cognitive Dissonance?
  • General discomfort that has no obvious or clear source.
  • Confusion.
  • Feeling conflicted over a disputed subject matter.
  • People saying you're being a hypocrite.
  • Being aware of conflicting views and/or desired but not know what to do with them.
21 Oct 2020

What is one way a person can resolve cognitive dissonance quizlet? ›

A person can reduce cognitive dissonance by (1) changing behavior so that it matches the concept with which she is dissonant, (2) justify behavior by trying to change dissonant thoughts, or (3) justify behavior by adding new perceptions.

What factors determine an individual desire to reduce dissonance? ›

Festinger proposed that the desire to reduce dissonance is determined by three moderating factors including the: a) values of the elements creating the dissonance. b) degree of influence the individual believes he or she has over the elements. c) degree of positive affect the person has toward the behavior.

What are the 3 causes of cognitive dissonance? ›

Dissonant cognitions are usually caused by a mismatch in beliefs and behaviors. Festinger's theory identified three primary triggers, or causes, of cognitive dissonance: forced compliance, decision-making, and effort.

What is an example of cognitive dissonance quizlet? ›

Example: i think exercising is good for you, but i wonder what we are having for dinner. - Happens when we have dissonant cognitions. - When we have inconsistency in our cognitions or when we have inconsistency in our behavior, then we experience cognitive dissonance.

What happens when a person experiences cognitive dissonance quizlet? ›

The distressing mental state caused by inconsistency between a person's two beliefs or a belief and an action. The tendency people have to avoid information that would create cognitive dissonance because it's incompatible with their current beliefs.

What do people feel when they have cognitive dissonance quizlet? ›

The discomfort that people feel when two cognitions (beliefs/attitudes) that they hold conflict, or when they behave in ways that are inconsistent with their conception of themselves.

What is an example of a dissonance? ›

A baby crying, a person screaming and an alarm going off are all common examples of dissonance. These sounds are annoying, disruptive or put a listener on edge.

What is an example cognitive? ›

Example of cognitive psychology

The concept of learning itself is also an example of cognition. This is about the way in which the brain makes connections while remembering what is learned. The ability to reason logically is an excellent example of cognition, problem solving and making judgments about information.

What is another term for cognitive dissonance? ›

In this page you can discover 4 synonyms, antonyms, idiomatic expressions, and related words for cognitive-dissonance, like: confusion, sensory-overload, babel and confoundment.

What conditions are necessary for cognitive dissonance? ›

Frymier and Nadler noted that for cognitive dissonance to work effectively there are three necessary conditions: aversive consequences, freedom of choice, and insufficient external justification (Frymier & Nadler, 2007).

How does cognitive dissonance affect decision-making? ›

Cognitive dissonance occurs when a person believes in two contradictory things at the same time. Within investing and in other areas, failing to resolve it can lead to irrational decision-making.

Videos

1. Cognitive Dissonance | Concepts Unwrapped
(McCombs School of Business)
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