Research studies identified two theories that help explain the consistency theory. First, let’s look at what defines consistency. Researchers found individuals feel good when the environment and attitude of others match their anticipated beliefs and assumptions (Larson, C., 2013, p. 218). This alliance defines the type of consistency that exists when individuals know what to expect from interpersonal relationships and circumstances that surround them (Larson, C., 2013, p. 219). The studies theorized that most individuals pursue cognitive balance to experience emotional satisfaction and enjoyment (Larson, C., 2013, p, 219. When inconsistency is found in behavior or environment it causes individuals to either change self or adjust their analysis to achieve balance (Larson, C., 2013, p. 219). Furthermore, it is important for target receivers to understand, recognize and predict factors that construct lack of balance and lack of consistency (Larson, C., 2013, p. 219). For ...view middle of the document...
, 2014, pp. 140 & 143). First, the cognitive dissonance theory concludes when individuals experience cognitive stress, they try to decrease it opposed to solving the problem (Larson, C., 2013, p. 219). This theorizes stress is a result of the individual’s cognitive belief system (Larson, C., 2013, p. 219). Researchers found the desire to be socially accepted by normative reference group and normalizing behavior are important to reduce feelings of tension (Larson, C., 2013, p. 221). Based on this theory, persuasion occurs when discernable inconsistencies among related beliefs or conduct cause a change (Woodard et al., 2014, p. 140). Therefore, the disparity creates cognitive tension when lack of commonalities found in related beliefs influence change (Woodard et al., 2014, p. 140). Furthermore, a persuader may bring attention to the inconsistency with the goal of creating stress that allows them to maximize the advantage of change in belief or actions (Woodard et al, 2014, p. 142).
For example, cognitive dissonance exists when an individual has great respect for the president but does not like his views on healthcare reform (Woodard et al., 2014, p. 140). In this case, the theory estimates that differences will be determined and solutions found in changing one or both of the viewpoints creating more uniformity in beliefs (Woodard et al., 2014, p. 140).
Second, the induced discrepant behavior theory suggests individuals intuitively seek to eliminate differences that might exist between introduced behavior and the self-contradictory attitude (Woodard et al., 2014, p. 143). When individuals readily change behavior researchers found it integrates into the personality causes individuals to discretely give up and change original ideas and beliefs (Woodard et al., 2014, p. 143). The induced ideas and beliefs are strong influences for motivating connected attitude (Woodard et al., 2014, p. 143). Force can impede change. Studies found that the intense force creates less mental stress impeding the individual’s ability to discern and accept inconsistencies in their “behavior, beliefs and attitudes” (Woodard et al., 2014, p. 144). Therefore, it is important that the target receiver be allowed to freely change to encourage recognition and acceptance of existing inconsistencies (Woodard et al, 2014, p. 144).