according to cognitive dissonance theory human beings are motivated to

Importantly, a person holding dissonant cognitions only rarely experiences them psychologically as inconsistent in the long term. Instead, more or less successful attempts are made to explain or rationalize them, thereby reducing dissonance. Cognitive dissonance theory was first presented by Leon Festinger in 1957 in order to explain the relationships between the motivation, perceptions and cognitions of an individual (Festinger, 1962).

according to cognitive dissonance theory human beings are motivated to

Decision Making

according to cognitive dissonance theory human beings are motivated to

This approach works by encouraging people to say things or role-play behaviors that contradict their beliefs about food and body image. 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. Cognitive Dissonance Theory has generally been used with at-risk women, and outside of the school setting. This approach intersects nicely with models of interactive and student-centered learning as well as fitting with the principles of developing media literacy, making it a good fit for the school setting.

  • Second, the person could reduce the importance of the dissonant cognition by thinking that the risk of getting lung cancer from smoking is lesser than being in a car accident.
  • One example of this approach is the self-actualization theory of Abraham Maslow previously mentioned.
  • The subjects were directed to persuade the confederate that the tedious tasks were interesting and engaging.
  • In other words, an individual can reduce the mental discomfort by changing the inconsistent cognitions, reducing the importance of conflicting elements, acquiring new harmonious elements or increasing the importance of the existing consistent elements.
  • Conversely, we may justify or trivialize negative behavior or even end the relationship.

How Cognitive Dissonance Feels

Some studies also investigated moderators, such as income and product involvement (Gbadamosi, 2009), on consumer decision making. Dissonance can also be extended to other purchase phases, but its purposes will be different (Koller & Salzberger, 2009; Koller & Salzberger, 2012). Previous studies using EEG have also demonstrated that the DPLFC, especially on the left side, plays a key role in dissonance reduction processes (Harmon-Jones, Gerdjikov, & Harmon-Jones, 2008; Harmon-Jones, Harmon-Jones, Fearn, Sigelman, & Johnson, 2008). In summary, Cognitive Dissonance theory has contributed to the concept of consistency in several ways. Firstly, Festinger integrated various concepts, including attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, value and behaviours, which had been considered separately as a single construct of cognition.

according to cognitive dissonance theory human beings are motivated to

Belief disconfirmation

Read on to learn more about cognitive dissonance, including examples, signs a person might be experiencing it, causes, and how to resolve it. In earlier hunter-gatherer and agricultural societies, people were quite familiar with the animals they consumed. It can, hence, be argued that they had a clear association between meat and animals. During the mid-19th century, a combination of factors, such as industrialization, urbanization, population growth and increased purchasing power opened up for large-scale, intensive raising and slaughtering of animals for meat production purposes (Segers, 2012). Consequently, an increasing number of people became largely separated from animals used in food production and, thus, had less contact with the animals they consumed.

Sometimes you might find yourself engaging in behaviors that are opposed to your own beliefs due to external expectations at work, school, or in a social situation. This might involve going along with something due to peer pressure or doing something at work to avoid getting fired. It has been used to explain and predict the motivational nature of dissonance that led to attitude and behaviour changes at both the individual and organisational level. Cognitive dissonance theory aims to explain the relationships between the motivation, perceptions and cognitions of an individual.

  • Examples of such inconsistencies or dissonance could include someone who litters despite caring about the environment, someone who tells a lie despite valuing honesty, or someone who makes an extravagant purchase, but believes in frugality.
  • However, the theory proposed that higher levels of dissonance can forcefully motivate a person to promptly address the psychological discomforts, while small levels of dissonance may not be as effective in encouraging the person to take an immediate action.
  • More aimed at advanced researchers in cognitive dissonance, Harmon-Jones 2019 (the second edition of Harmon-Jones and Mills 1999) is an edited volume that synthesizes modern perspectives on dissonance.
  • A review of cognitive dissonance theory at the organisation level was also conducted to integrate the relevant knowledge that was published from 2000 to 2016 (Hinojosa et al., 2017).

Cognitive Dissonance and the Discomfort of Holding Conflicting Beliefs

For example, not ordering food at the restaurant would follow from the obverse or opposite of being hungry. But I was not full, and thus the decision to refrain from eating would follow from the obverse of my knowledge that I was hungry. Study participants who complete an uninteresting task have been found to rate the task as more enjoyable if they were first asked to tell someone else it was enjoyable—an effect attributed to cognitive dissonance. Theoretically, dissonance may contribute to a variety of changes in behavior or beliefs. When one learns new information that challenges a deeply held belief, for example, or acts in a way that seems to undercut a favorable self-image, that person may feel motivated to somehow resolve the negative feeling that results—to restore cognitive consonance. Though a person may not always resolve cognitive dissonance, the response to it may range from ignoring the source of it to changing one’s beliefs or behavior to eliminate the conflict.

Sometimes when patients engage in a new, more constructive behavior, they can perceive dissonance simply because it is contrary to the way they used to act. Providing the space and time to understand their new behavior and justifying it can help to reduce the dissonance. This can be a difficult and uncomfortable process and involves getting additional information.

according to cognitive dissonance theory human beings are motivated to

Cognitive Dissonance and Social Life

If you’re looking for more science-based ways to help others through CBT, this collection contains 17 validated positive CBT tools for practitioners. Use them to help others overcome unhelpful thoughts and feelings and develop more positive behaviors. This episode of the podcast Behavioral Grooves features an interview with Dr. Kathleen Vohs on cognitive dissonance theory. Dr. Vohs discusses the topic as it relates to supporters of Former President Donald Trump justifying one of his controversial tweets in 2019. Being paid only $1 is not sufficient incentive for lying and so those who were paid $1 experienced dissonance. They could only overcome that dissonance by coming to believe that the tasks really were interesting and enjoyable.

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. However, Festinger believed that all people are motivated to avoid cognitive dissonance and addiction or resolve cognitive dissonance due to the discomfort it causes. This can prompt people to adopt certain defense mechanisms when they have to confront it. The dissonance between two contradictory ideas, or between an idea and a behavior, creates discomfort. Festinger argued that cognitive dissonance is more intense when a person holds many dissonant views and those views are important to them.