• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Cognitive Dissonance

Page history last edited by Hannah Batten 10 years, 5 months ago



WIKI cd.jpg 

     Have you ever behaved in such a way that was contradictory of your beliefs, creating feelings of guilt or difference? If so, you have experienced cognitive dissonance. Humans are motivated to establish and maintain cognitive consistency; we want to experience agreement between our actions and thoughts. When an individual’s behavior and beliefs do not align together, feelings of disharmony, or dissonance, present themselves.  

     The cognitive dissonance theory was developed by Leon Festinger, a social psychologist, in 1957. He generated three key assumptions that lay the foundation for cognitive dissonance. The first assumption was that being aware of inconsistency will create a lack of harmony, or dissonance, and ambition to figure and work out the dissonance. The second assumption was that when a creed has been broken, no matter to what extent, an individual will feel some kind of mental agony. The last assumption was that a greater level of dissonance results in more ambition to resolve it.

     Dissonance can be resolved by a change in one’s beliefs, actions, or perception of others. The simplest way to resolve dissonance is changing one’s beliefs; although beliefs are stable as we rely on them to interpret the world. Another option would be to avoid performing the same action again. An individual may be motivated to change his or her behavior in response to feelings of anguish and guilt; although, he or she can also teach his or herself not to possess these guilty feelings. The behavior performed may actually be beneficial. The most typical method used is for an individual to adjust, or rationalize, his or her perception of action. By doing this, one’s actions do not seem to be inconsistent with his or her beliefs because he or she now views his or her action in a different manner. 

     Cognitive dissonance is manifested across many situations. Cognitive dissonance is caused by many factors including the following: life events, decision making, the environment, cultural beliefs, disequilibrium resulting from needs, betrayal of trust, society, and church. Due to cultural differences in beliefs and standards, individuals have different experiences with cognitive dissonance, but all cultures and regions of the world experience cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance should not be avoided, because it has an impact on oneself, relationships, and his or her community. 


Cognitive Dissonance Song

This YouTube video provides a fun and catchy spin on cognitive dissonance.

Are There Cultural Differences Associated with Cognitive Dissonance?

This article discusses the universality of cognitive dissonance. 

Classic Study with Cognitive Dissonance

This article evaluates cognitive dissonance by discussing an experiment that introduced dissonance to participants.

Dealing with Cognitive Dissonance 

This article provides ways to deal with cognitive dissonance and using it as a therapy technique. 

The Theory Behind Cognitive Dissonance

This article addresses the theory and composition of cognitive dissonance. 

Patterns of Cognitive Dissonance  

This is a New York Times article that discusses patterns of cognitive dissonance in monkeys and 4-year-old children. 

Cognitive Dissonance Isn't All Bad

This YouTube video describes cognitive dissonance as an opportunity for learning and growth.

Cognitive Dissonance in Relationships

This article analyses cognitive dissonance in terms of relationships and improving the self. 

Nature, Causes, and Reduction of Cognitive Dissonance 

This article describes different causes of dissonance and suggests ways to reduce dissonance. 

Personal Story Evaluation 

This article presents examples and an evaluation of a personal story associated with cognitive dissonance. 


This page was developed by Hannah Batten. It is to my belief that all images, links, and video are public material, if any problems exist email me at 10904535@live.mercer.edu

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.