In our opinion, developing an instrument assessing a specific affect, such as the CDS, requires understanding the precise nature and characteristics of this affect. However, the characteristics of the CDS are not well-understood today, aside from a general consensus that it should involve a form of negative arousal. For the purpose of developing a relevant instrument, we believe that there is much to gain from taking a step back and examining the characteristics of the CDS in a more global framework. While cognitive dissonance theory has rarely been linked to psychological models of emotions, these models can be used to better describe the nature of the CDS. Indeed, decades of research have investigated the nature and structure of human emotions, and it seems senseless to ignore this work in the examination of the CDS. We are mainly concerned with three limitations that call into question the validity of the studies reviewed above as evidence of the aversive nature of dissonance. First, it is unclear if the emotion captured in these studies is really the theorized CDS or a confound with other negative emotions.

cognitive dissonance theory

People like to believe that they are logical, consistent, and good at making decisions. Cognitive dissonance can interfere with the perceptions they hold about themselves and their abilities, which is why it can often feel so uncomfortable and unpleasant. The more dissonant thoughts you have, the greater the strength of the dissonance. Cognitive dissonance can be caused by feeling forced to do something, learning new information, or when faced with a decision between two similar choices. Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals.

Adding More Beliefs to Outweigh Dissonant Beliefs

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Because of these shortcomings, recipients’ motivation to bolster their position may be substantial. They may be motivated to carefully attend to the message as a means to ensure that their own views are indeed “correct” and/or that the outcomes they prefer are still likely to occur. Provided research participants with false feedback about what type of information they could most effectively process (i.e., topic or person information). Later, when lacking desired confidence, those same participants only engaged in increased processing if the available information was of a type that they presumed they could effectively process.

Challenge current beliefs

Be sure to explain why this theory was revolutionary at the time it was created. Inconsistency in actions and beliefs – Lying is bad, but you do it anyway.

In doing so, you’ll get back to that place of harmony, and you’ll likely be happier as a result. A more severe example is when a person in an abusive relationship rationalizes, justifies, or makes excuses to make the behavior of an abusive partner seem okay, Leikam says. Essentially, the internal conflict that results when you recognize the contradiction throws your mental balance (that feeling of “everything’s going well”) out of whack. You’ll naturally want to reduce the tension to return to — or close to, anyway — a happy place where things align in harmony. This theory is subjective because we cannot physically observe cognitive dissonance so we cannot obtain any objective measurements. It has a sort of vagueness in its nature because every people will have their differences always.

Cognitive Dissonance Examples in TV Shows and Movies

Cognitive dissonance can shake the core of some of our beliefs and lead to confusion. Another way advertisers use cognitive dissonance is when they use celebrities and influencers for marketing their products. Maybe you dislike a particular brand of dish soap, but after you see your favorite celebrity cognitive dissonance theory use it, you might modify your original opinion and start liking the product. You may even buy the celebrity-endorsed brand next time you are low on dish soap. Lance was one of the best students at his high school and won a scholarship to attend a prestigious university across the country.

Cognitive Dissonance Theory and How it Impacts US –

Cognitive Dissonance Theory and How it Impacts US.

Posted: Mon, 06 Jun 2022 07:00:00 GMT [source]

As a result, they experience intense anxiety or a state of tension or other physiological symptoms which indicate that there is a change in the inner system. The dissonance will be at its highest on matters regarding self-image.

How to resolve cognitive dissonance

Cognitive dissonance explains why people change their attitudes or behaviors when they are introduced to new and contradicting information. The main components of cognitive dissonance will be analyzed in this paper, and the importance of this theory in the field of public relations will also be discussed. The third limitation is that there are few studies using reliable measures of the CDS. As we wrote above, instruments that focus on general feelings or emotions may in fact capture other emotions. As most cognitive dissonance paradigms are likely to induce other emotions, it may be more pertinent to distinctively assess the nature of the psychological discomfort involved in the CDS.

In order to reach stability a person will either change their beliefs, behaviors or add new beliefs. According to cognitive dissonance, people will avoid anything that increases dissonance for them. People are most comfortable at a stable state and anything that disrupts this causes a great deal of stress, so avoidance or changes are made to get back to consonance.

Here’s How and Why to Reduce Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance theory originated with Leon Festinger in the 1950s. Cognitive dissonance takes place first through an initial tension between personal beliefs and actions, recognizing that tension, and then attempting to reduce that tension. The three main ways to reduce cognitive dissonance are through changing one’s beliefs, changing one’s behaviors, and changing one’s perception of one’s actions. A second limitation of previous studies is that there is very little evidence supporting the view that the assessed negative affect is the same across all paradigms. Most studies have focused on a restricted set of cognitive dissonance paradigms, especially on the counterattitudinal paradigm.

What is cognitive dissonance theory examples?

Examples of cognitive dissonance

Eating meat: Some people who view themselves as animal lovers eat meat and may feel discomfort when they think about where their meat comes from. Some researchers refer to this as the “meat paradox.”