Cognitive Dissonance Examples: 5 Ways It Pops Up In Everyday Life

cognitive dissonance treatment

They could only overcome that dissonance by coming to believe that the tasks really were interesting and enjoyable. Being paid $20 provides a reason for turning pegs, and there is, therefore, no dissonance. The theory of cognitive dissonance has been widely researched in a number of situations to develop the basic idea in more detail, and various factors have been identified which may be important in attitude change.

cognitive dissonance treatment

Harmonizing with reinforced beliefs

cognitive dissonance treatment

Imagine someone experiencing intense guilt and embarrassment after stumbling through a public speech because they forgot the words. This cognitive dissonance arises from the belief that they should have been better prepared. Through therapy, individuals can learn cognitive dissonance and addiction to recalibrate the weight of the dissonance or even alter the belief that external opinions hold significant sway. This process can help people recognize that minor mishaps, such as misspeaking during a presentation, do not warrant undue internal anxiety.

Supporting fast fashion

The application provides a social psychological basis for the constructivist viewpoint that ethnic and racial divisions can be socially or individually constructed, possibly from acts of violence (Fearon and Laitin, 2000). Their framework speaks to this possibility by showing how violent actions by individuals can affect individual attitudes, either ethnic or racial animosity (Acharya, Blackwell, and Sen, 2015). Sometimes people can reduce dissonance by changing things in their environment—in particular, in their social environment. For example, someone who smokes might surround themselves with other people who smoke instead of with people who have disapproving attitudes about cigarettes. In others words, people sometimes cope with feelings of dissonance by surrounding themselves in “echo chambers” where their opinions are supported and validated by others.

  • You might feel guilty, knowing you’d be in trouble if anyone found out.
  • Often, one of the cognitions in question is about our behavior.
  • Being paid $20 provides a reason for turning pegs, and there is, therefore, no dissonance.

Provide choice

  • They found that people who were extraverted were less likely to feel the negative impact of cognitive dissonance and were also less likely to change their mind.
  • Research from Acharya, Blackwell and Sen shows that individuals committing violence against members of another group develop hostile attitudes towards their victims as a way of minimizing cognitive dissonance.
  • Dr. Noulas says that successes in women’s rights, environmental rights, and gay rights are examples of positive change that have resulted from cognitive dissonance.
  • This approach can make spending more on premium pet food appear less of an issue, thereby reducing the sense of dissonance.
  • If a voluntary experience that has cost a lot of effort turns out badly, the dissonance is reduced by redefining the experience as interesting.
  • When they encounter conflicting values or beliefs in the workplace, it can lead to job dissatisfaction and decreased engagement.

For example, someone might get so tired of feeling cognitive dissonance every time they smoke that they seek help. They might join a support group, read books on addiction, and get rid of their cigarettes. For example, let’s say you watch a documentary that gives you some new beliefs about the ethics of fast fashion.

Self-awareness seems to be a key to understanding how and when cognitive dissonance may play a role in your life. If you find yourself justifying or rationalizing decisions or behaviors that you’re not quite clear you firmly believe in, that might be a sign that cognitive dissonance is at work. If your explanation for something is, “Well, that’s the way I’ve always done it or thought about it,” that may also be a sign.

When conflict arises between beliefs and actions, this is cognitive dissonance. Do people from non-Western cultures experience cognitive dissonance as well? Research seems to suggest that people from non-Western cultures do experience cognitive dissonance, but that the contexts that lead to feelings of dissonance might differ depending on cultural norms and values. Cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort that results from holding two conflicting beliefs, values, or attitudes. People tend to seek consistency in their attitudes and perceptions, so this conflict causes unpleasant feelings of unease or discomfort.

Cognitive dissonance occurs frequently and to all of us (Harmon-Jones, 2019). Cognitive dissonance leads to the motivation to reduce the dissonance (Festinger, 1957). The stronger the discrepancy between thoughts, the greater the motivation to reduce it (Festinger, 1957). You read an article about workplace productivity that says people are more productive when they work in short bursts and take frequent breaks.

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