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Facing truths or changing an unhealthy habit might be uncomfortable, but resolving this discomfort can create positive changes. Also, speaking up for another person could improve a group or culture overall. Cognitive dissonance theory aims to explain the relationships between the motivation, perceptions and cognitions of an individual. In other words, it seems that everyone does experience dissonance from time to time—but what causes dissonance for one person might not for someone else.

cognitive dissonance theory

Many experiments have since been conducted to illustrate cognitive dissonance in more ordinary contexts. 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. https://ecosoberhouse.com/ Cognitive dissonance can be caused by feeling forced to do something, learning new information, or when faced with a decision between two similar choices. Throwing trash outside even when knowing this act is against the law, wrong, and could harm animals and the planet is cognitive dissonance, especially if the person feels bad after littering but continues to do so.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Many people seem able to cope with considerable dissonance and not experience the tensions the theory predicts. When one of the dissonant elements is a behavior, the individual can change or eliminate the behavior. Participants in the high-dissonance condition spread apart the alternatives significantly more than the participants in the other two conditions.

cognitive dissonance theory

Cognitive dissonance theory might suggest that since votes are an expression of preference or beliefs, even the act of voting might cause someone to defend the actions of the candidate for whom they voted,[72][self-published source? ] and if the decision was close then the effects of cognitive dissonance should be greater. Prevention programs based on cognitive dissonance and the use of the Internet have been widely and successfully implemented among female college models, but their use has not yet filtered down to the school setting.

3.1 Situational determinants of how people defend BJW

For example, thinking smoking causes lung cancer will cause dissonance if a person smokes. Participants in the “severe embarrassment” condition gave cognitive dissonance theory the most positive rating. In the “severe embarrassment” condition, they had to read aloud obscene words and a very explicit sexual passage.

Cognitive Dissonance in Russia – Inkstick – Inkstick

Cognitive Dissonance in Russia – Inkstick.

Posted: Mon, 27 Jun 2022 07:00:00 GMT [source]

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). Because these participants did not make a decision, they did not have any dissonance to reduce. Individuals in the low-dissonance group chose between a desirable product and one rated 3 points lower on an 8-pointscale. In an intriguing experiment, Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) asked participants to perform a series of dull tasks (such as turning pegs in a peg board for an hour). As you can imagine, participant’s attitudes toward this task were highly negative.