What is Cognitive Dissonance?
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The paper relates that cognitive dissonance is the feeling, or idea, of having two contradictory ideas at the same time. The paper explains the theory of cognitive dissonance and the five key assumptions to cognitive dissonance theory, and also describes how with the right motivation, we can use dissonance logic to justify something we know to be bad for us. The paper offers an example of a committed smoker to demonstrate how dissonance is a powerful tool to elicit change, self or external.
From the Paper:"Cognitive Dissonance is the feeling, or idea, of having two contradictory ideas at the same time. These ideas may include attitudes and beliefs, the awareness of one's own behavior, or facts. The theory of cognitive dissonance shows that humans have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their own attitudes and beliefs (and therefore behaviors), or if not changing, then justifying, to become a more congenial part of their group, culture, and society (Aronson, et.al. 2006). Innate conflict (or dissonance) comes about then one personal idea opposed another - for instance, supporting animal rights but eating steak; making a decision to purchase something one cannot afford, but finding ways to justify that purchase.
"There are literally thousands of studies on cognitive dissonance, but one of the more current and interesting theories suggests that neural network models of cognition are linked to various modes of dissonance theory and reaction. Cognitive Dissonance theory, then, can also be expressed as a model of self-persuasion. In this sense, our individual attitudes may be in conflict with new information we receive, or our behaviors may turn out to be inconsistent with our belief system. Humans seem to gravitate towards consistency, and we are quite adept at changing our perceptions to fit our attitudes in order to align ourselves within a more consistent framework."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Aronson, E., et.al. (2006). Social Psychology. Prentice Hall.
- Bordens, K. and I. Horowitz. (2006). Social Psychology. Routledge.
- Lycan, W.G., ed. (1999). Mind and Cognition. Blackwell.
- Nier, J. (2006). Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Social Psychology. McGraw Hill.
Cite this Term Paper:
What is Cognitive Dissonance? (2013, March 27) Retrieved June 30, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/what-is-cognitive-dissonance-152600/
"What is Cognitive Dissonance?" 27 March 2013. Web. 30 June. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/what-is-cognitive-dissonance-152600/>