Cognitive dissonance is a theory in social psychology first proposed by Leon Festinger. According to this theory, cognitive dissonance describes the discomfort experienced when two cognitions are incompatible with each other. It was hypothesized that participants in the Counter-attitudinal condition would experience less Pleasure and more Arousal than participants in the Pro-attitudinal condition. As a classic result in dissonance studies, they were also expected to report more positive attitudes toward the counterattitudinal topic. Once they finished their essay, participants had to complete a recall task in 2 steps.

In This Article Expand or collapse the “in this article” section Cognitive Dissonance Theory

The predictive dissonance account is highly compatible with the action-motivation model since, in practice, prediction error can arise from unsuccessful behavior. Research from Acharya, Blackwell and Sen shows that individuals committing violence against members of another group develop hostile attitudes towards their victims as a way of minimizing cognitive dissonance. Importantly, the hostile attitudes may persist even after the violence itself declines (Acharya, Blackwell, and Sen, 2015).

cognitive dissonance

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Cognitive dissonance research deepens our understanding of pescetarians – Medical Xpress

Cognitive dissonance research deepens our understanding of pescetarians.

Posted: Tue, 19 Mar 2024 07:00:00 GMT [source]

In one study, researchers asked participants to give speeches that would encourage the audience to take a certain positive action. One thirty-second social media video can totally shift our perspective. This is exciting, because it means we’re always learning, but it can lead to cognitive dissonance.

Using Classical Conditioning for Treating Phobias & Disorders

He can tell himself, “I am becoming stronger, healthier, and sharper. What I am doing is really important.” If this is his belief, he will realize that he is becoming stronger through his challenges. He then will feel better and not experience, which is an uncomfortable state. Alternatively, people may take steps to try to resolve the inconsistency.

If both options are equally harmless, changing your beliefs to support the option you chose won’t have any long-term negative impacts. If you experience cognitive dissonance, think about what result each of these actions will have in the long term before adopting them as a coping strategy. Alternatively, they may reduce cognitive dissonance by being mindful of their values and pursuing opportunities to live those values. The theory behind this approach is that in order to resolve the dissonance, a person’s implicit beliefs about their body and thinness will change, reducing their desire to limit their food intake. For example, a small 2019 study notes that dissonance-based interventions may be helpful for people with eating disorders. This approach works by encouraging people to say things or role-play behaviors that contradict their beliefs about food and body image.

We conducted a principal component analysis of the PAD scale with an OBLIMIN rotation. All items loaded accordingly to their index, except for two items of the dominance index that did not load strongly on any of the components (important/awed and in control/cared for). As this analysis was not pre-registered, we decided to keep the latter items in the analyses. It can be easy and comfortable to hold onto ideas that we “can’t” do something great or that we aren’t good enough. Unfortunately, these limiting beliefs get in the way if we want to form a productive habit, set a lofty goal, or change the direction of our lives.

How Attitude Change Takes Place

cognitive dissonance

Resolving dissonance may help prevent us from making bad choices or motivate us to make good ones. This desire to be at peace with our decisions might be just the thing to inspire us to go for that run after all. Cognitive dissonance can have many different causes, including addiction, a desire to meet the expectations of others, fear of change, and trauma. People with cognitive dissonance often try to resolve the feeling either by changing their behavior or beliefs or with other strategies like ignoring or justifying the contradiction.

This lack of standardization impairs the comparability of the results and limits their interpretation. For instance, could the affect assessed with Elliot and Devine’s three items (1994; uneasy, uncomfortable and bothered) and Matz and Wood’s five items (2005; uneasy, uncomfortable, bothered, tense and concerned) be considered the same? The Dissonance Thermometer has been initially used to support the claim that CDS cognitive dissonance and addiction is experienced as a specific psychological discomfort instead of a general negative affect (Elliot & Devine, 1994). However, all the variations we have seen could actually be interpreted as evidence for a general and unspecified negative affect. If John keeps thinking about how miserable he is, it is going to be a very long four years. As an alternative to this misery, John can change his beliefs or attitudes.

Action–motivation model

It occurs in all of us frequently, not just when planning to diet and justifying a doughnut with a delayed diet start. 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. Cognitive dissonance and the way we cope with it regularly affect our relationships, too, both positively and negatively. Koller and Salzberger (2007) developed an eight-item consumer behavior scale.

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