This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Taking A Look At Cognitive Dissonance

2028 words - 9 pages

Imagine a person who is an avid animal lover and activist but also owns and wears a real fur jacket. These two beliefs and actions are inconsistent with each other and cause a distressing contradiction known as cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is the distressing mental state cause by an inconsistency between a person’s two beliefs or a belief and an action (Griffin 2006). People have an instinctual desire to keep their actions and beliefs in harmony and when they are experiencing inconsistencies they deal with it by trying to reduce it. Cognitive dissonance theory has been around since the late 1950s when it was published by Leon Festinger and has made a big impact on the educational community. This theory has been researched extensively over the last 50 years and there are many important and interesting research findings that have been produced. This is an important theory that is very relevant and can be useful in the practice of persuasion and can also help to explain people’s behaviors.
Since the theory was published, cognitive dissonance has made a big impact in the way that people view attitudes and behaviors. To have a clear understanding of the cognitive dissonance theory it important to clearly understand the term cognition. A cognition is the knowledge a person has about something. They can relate to emotions, thoughts, facts or values (Barker, 2003). People hold a vast amount of cognitions with them and many of them are not conflicting with each other. But when cognitions do conflict or contradict with each other dissonance occurs and it leaves an individual in a state of uncomfortable distress. It is evident that people do not like being in a state of dissonance but researchers even argue the desire to have harmonious cognitions and reduce dissonance is not just a want its drive that is as important to address as our need for food or water.(Barker, 2003). There are several ways that people strive to keep their cognitions constant and reduce cognitive dissonance. One of the ways to reduce dissonance is to change your attitude about a conflicting cognition. For example the person who is an animal activist but owns a fur coat could change the way they think about animals or fur coats and decide that it’s not a big deal to own a fur coat. Another way of reducing dissonance is by obtaining new information that offsets the dissonant belief and helps to balance two the cognitions (McLeod, 2008). In his theory Festinger also claimed that people try to avoid dissonance by avoiding information that is likely to increase their dissonance. He hypothesized that people approach or avoid certain information to keep their cognitions constant. If a certain type of information has the potential to increase dissonance it is avoided and if it will strengthen prior cognitions it will be approached (Griffin, 2006). There are many examples of selective exposure shown in everyday life and it explains a lot about why people choose to only expose...

Find Another Essay On Taking a Look at Cognitive Dissonance

Taking a Close Look at the Work of Richard Grusin

3421 words - 14 pages Sensationalization, Media & Affective Emotion International Studies 550 Kirsten Polley  In this paper I take a close look at the work of Richard Grusin on premediation and remediation, alongside Brian Massiumi’s idea of the half-life of disaster, to argue how mediation affects current events - specifically through the story of the recent loss of Malaysian Airlines flight 370. Media has played a large part in shaping American history, since

Taking a Closer Look at The Emirates Group

2536 words - 11 pages received some the best airline awards since 1990. In 2013, the airline won 36 awards making it number one on the top ten airlines in the world (Skytrax, 2013). Emirates currently employs about 68, 000 people from all walks of life (DNATA, 2014). In 2013, the airline took delivery of ten (10) new Airbus 380 and twenty four (24) new Boeing 777 (DNATA, 2014). At the end of the 2013 financial year, the airline has a total of over 200 aircraft (Emirates

Taking a Look at the Evolution of Smartphones

2097 words - 9 pages mobile computing devices, so did the use of the Internet. The iPhone can be pioneered as the first device to allow us unrivaled access to the Internet at our fingertips. Smartphones initially had connectivity that was similar to that of a low-grade DSL (digital subscriber link, over telephone) speeds, but exponentially increased in speed as demand rose for faster speeds. “Mobile devices accounted for 55% of Internet usage in the United States in

Walking a Difficult Line: Taking a Look at Borderline Personality Disorder

944 words - 4 pages Walking a Difficult Line: Taking a Look at Borderline Personality Disorder Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) live a difficult existence. These are people for whom maintaining normal interpersonal relationships, controlling anger, suffer from extreme self-doubt and drastic mood swings, among other symptoms. They comprise only 2% of the population, but have a disorder which the psychiatric and scientific communities have

Taking a Deeper Look at The Piano Lesson by August Wilson

1181 words - 5 pages Taking a Deeper Look at The Piano Lesson by August Wilson Winner of multiple awards such as the Tony Award, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize, August Wilson is known most for his forceful cultural plays. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Wilson was born to a white father that later abandoned his family, and a black mother. Wilson dropped out of school in the ninth grade after being accused of

Taking a Serious Look at Media Violence and its Effect on Children

1285 words - 5 pages or billboards wouldn't be present. However, one must look at individual factors such as personal backgrounds (family, friends), chemical or emotional deficits and other social circumstances such as ones social environment. So when there's a violent incident I believe the media causes only in a small percentage of the incidents, but is generally blamed for a majority of them.In order for a human being to display aggression, violence or anger, it

Taking a Closer Look at Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)

1312 words - 6 pages inflammatory response of the brain, which possibly could be the reason the myelin becomes damaged ( The damage to the myelin sheath, the electric insulating material around the axon of a neuron, keeps the nerve cells from sending the essential signals throughout the body, brain and glands. This is crucial for the proper functioning of the nervous system. Without these signals traveling at high speeds or

Taking a Closer Look at Poverty

1855 words - 8 pages What is poverty? defines poverty as “the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions. “Many Americans mainly think that poor people consist of being unemployed, lazy, lack of education, etc. I even asked a few random people at Capital University, why people are poor and many said lack of employment and others mentioned having a hole in their pocket and not being educated

Taking a Closer Look at Leukemia

1197 words - 5 pages There is no way to prevent leukemia. (“Leukemia Facts”) Leukemia is often thought to be a childhood disease. (“Leukemia Basics”) No one really knows the exact cause of leukemia. There are certain risk factors that can increase chances that the person will leukemia. (“Leukemia-Topic Overview”) Leukemia causes about one-third of all cancer deaths in children under fifteen. (“SEER”) Leukemia is a cancer in the blood cells. Leukemia is located in

Taking a Closer Look at Shakespeare's Work

1180 words - 5 pages Shakespeare’s work helped develop a deeper understanding of the English language and usage of writing techniques throughout his writings while entertaining his audiences. The Elizabethan Era was the start towards a successful education system, which mainly consisted of strong religious views. Children who were fortunate enough would have the opportunity to start their formal education at a petty school. Petty schools were primary schools in

Taking a Closer Look at Huntington's Disease

1219 words - 5 pages from a parent has no correlation on whether others will or will not inherit that mutation in the genes. Although the mutation gets passed from parent to child, the statistics show the number of recurrences in the mutation tends to become larger. Larger the amount of repeats a person has the more likely the chance of that symptoms will develop at an earlier age. As the mutation is passed along the symptoms will develop at a younger age. The more

Similar Essays

Taking A Brief Look At Human Trafficking

2058 words - 9 pages . One of the jobs that start that chain is the recruitment. These people are the ones that actually go out and take victims from their homes. They take a huge risk in going out and kidnapping people. Some recruiters will develop a relationship with their victims before kidnapping them so that there will be trust built. Others just go out and look for people that fit the “description” that they are looking for. Some go out at night so that there

Taking A Closer Look At Michael Jordan

1082 words - 5 pages charities. Michael Jordan changed the way people look at and play basketball in many ways, such as his super athletic ability made people want to watch him, and he made basketball way more popular. Work Cited "Michael Jordan Biography." A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2014 " Michael Jordan Bio." Michael Jordan Bio. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2014. Google word search michael jordan "World Biography." Michael

Taking A Closer Look At Crooked Corporations

1796 words - 8 pages In the work place today records show a study of unethical behaviors taking place in the area of professional organizations. This has been a growing problem among a different variety of businesses and corporations. The problem with these issues being brought to the public is that it brings a negative outlook on the company as a whole. The words “crook” and “fraud” have been slanted towards some of our countries fortune five hundred companies and

Taking A Look At The Influential Fifties

1529 words - 7 pages America and continuing to thrive in the darkness. Senator Joseph McCarthy, a failing Republican Senator from Wisconsin, took this idea into account when he attempted to up his chances of reelection by accusing Communism of taking over the government. McCarthy’s reign as a terrorist ended in 1954, when he was the center of a large, nationally televised Senate investigation, in which it was shown as proof that his accusations were all empty. The