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Guide Cognitive Dissonance Theory

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The difference between the two groups can be explained by cognitive dissonance. Those who were well paid experienced less dissonance when lying about the task, as they had a good enough reason to do so. However, when the pay was low, participants had to explain to themselves why they had gone through all the trouble.

Thus, they changed their belief, and actually convinced themselves that the task was more interesting than it was.

Implications of cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance implicates related processes [2]. Once the behavior has been completed, it cannot be changed. Thus, forced compliance is a method that can cause individuals to change their beliefs because of the dissonance that is created.

What is Cognitive Dissonance Theory?

An example of this phenomenon is Nazi Germany, where people were forced to commit atrocities and were then left to rationalize the behavior to themselves. Cognitive dissonance has implications for decision making [2]. Decisions are difficult to make, especially when choosing between similar and positive alternatives.

Cognitive Dissonance Definition and Examples

This reality causes great dissonance, and thus motivation to explain what occurred in a different way. Cognitive dissonance experiments s Festinger and colleagues first tested cognitive dissonance by infiltrating a cult which believed that the world would be destroyed by a flood on a specific date [2]. Implications of cognitive dissonance Cognitive dissonance implicates related processes [2]. References Festinger, L. So, this is what dissonance is, if they are, are contradictions.

Some common misunderstandings.

And we don't like contradictions. We like balance and harmony, all that good stuff. So, when we have these contradictions, we may do four different things to our cognitions to alter alter those attitudes in order to reduce that comfort. And the first of these is that we may try to modify one or two of our cognitions. So, in this example of the smoker, the smoker may say, I really don't smoke that much.

So, he went or she went from saying, I smoke, to modifying that a little bit and saying, I really don't smoke that much.

The Advances in the History of Cognitive Dissonance Theory

So, there's a little bit of an alteration there in order to reduce the discomfort that person has in their attitude and behavior. The second thing that they might try and do is trivialize. Which means, making less important. So they may change the importance of their cognition or trivialize it, by saying something like, the evidence is weak that smoking causes cancer. So, remember their original cognition was, smoking leads to cancer.

Now they're saying, by trivializing, that the evidence is weak that smoking causes cancer. So, do you see how there's a little bit of an alteration there as well? Now, the third way that this contradiction can be modified or reduced is by adding more cognitions. So, another way we can make our cognitions less discomfortable or the contradictions less uncomfortable, is by adding more cognitions.


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So, someone may say, I exercise so much that it doesn't even matter that I smoke. Well, the first was, I smoke. Bassellier G. Bhattacherjee, A. Iivari, J. Karahanna E.


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Livingstone L. A, Nelson D. Oinas-Kukkonen, H.

What Is Cognitive Dissonance?

Palanisamy, R. Pavlou P. Spathis, C and Ananiadis, J.