What Is Cognitive Dissonance? Definition and Examples

However, this mode of dissonance reduction frequently presents problems for people, as it is often difficult for people to change well-learned behavioral responses (e.g., giving up smoking). What wasn’t studied were the cognitive dissonance effects in cases where the person had unfavorable attitudes toward both candidates. The 2016 U.S. election held historically cognitive dissonance theory high unfavorable ratings for both candidates. If a contradiction occurs between how a person feels and how a person acts, one’s perceptions and emotions align to alleviate stress. The Ben Franklin effect refers to that statesman’s observation that the act of performing a favor for a rival leads to increased positive feelings toward that individual.

according to cognitive dissonance theory human beings are motivated to

That’s why it’s important to recognize what it is and what it feels like — if you don’t, then it will be that much harder to live an authentic life aligned with your personal values. This kind of incongruence — called cognitive dissonance — can cause some serious mental discomfort. That’s because if you’re not self-aware, cognitive dissonance can leave you acting and feeling pretty out of character. If the self-attributes are relevant to the behavior in question, they will increase dissonance by reminding individuals about the standard they failed to meet. Let’s say you believe lying is wrong but one day you lie to your professor. If in your despair your friend reminds you that you are usually a good and honest person , the model suggests that you will not find this comforting at all.

Alternative paradigms

Change one or more of the attitudes, behavior, beliefs, etc., to make the relationship between the two elements a consonant one. For example, when people smoke and they know that smoking causes cancer , they are in a state of cognitive dissonance. Both groups were given headphones to unknowingly listen to a recorded discussion about animal sexual behaviour, which the researchers designed to be dull and banal.

Null effects are difficult to explain and subject to multiple alternatives. Second, attitude change may have been produced, but may have been too slight to be detected with the small sample size of these experiments. Third, not enough dissonance may have been aroused in these experiments to produce attitude change without the additional help of an aversive consequence.

Study Plan

The difference between consumer feelings and attitude causes dissonance. This created the idea of pragmatism, where it is believed that reality must be experienced and that we must interact with our environment so we can continue to be able to adapt and learn.

As the subjects of the experiment, the groups of people were told that the animal-sexuality discussion actually was occurring in the next room. The subjects whose strong initiation required reading aloud obscene words evaluated the people of their group as more-interesting persons than the people of the group who underwent the mild initiation to the discussion group.

Personal Social And Emotional Development Case Study

If a voluntary experience which has cost a lot of effort turns out badly, dissonance is reduced by redefining the experience as interesting. This is probably because dissonance would be caused if we spent a great effort to achieve something and then evaluated https://ecosoberhouse.com/ it negatively. Participants in the high-dissonance condition chose between a highly desirable product and one rated just 1 point lower on the 8-point scale. After reading the reports about the various products, individuals rated the products again.

according to cognitive dissonance theory human beings are motivated to

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Freedom, religion, and health behavior change

The larger the discrepancy, the greater the level of dissonance. Let’s say your doctor recommends that you exercise five times per week , but you only do so twice a week , you would likely experience dissonance, but not as much as you would if you did not exercise at all. In the latter case, there would be a greater discrepancy between what you know you should be doing and what you actually do. People justify things to reduce discomfort brought about by cognitive dissonance. One could be when someone is a smoker and knows it’s bad but does it anyway.

  • While residents in the worst-hit areas tried to come to grips with the devastation, those in nearby villages became struck with terror.
  • He suggested that people have an inner need to ensure that their beliefs and behaviors are consistent.
  • As was mentioned previously, dissonance tends to arise when we are forced to choose between two or more alternatives.
  • For instance, according to the article on normative standards, when people act in a discrepant manner, they often follow up this act with trivialization (Vaidis & Oberle, 2014).
  • Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles.

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