Cognitive Dissonance

Topics: Cognition, Leon Festinger, Cognitive dissonance Pages: 4 (1174 words) Published: June 18, 2013
Isaac Petersen
5/23/13
Honors Psych
Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive dissonance theory has been around since the late fifties. It has inspired many psychologists to figure out the murky depths of people’s minds. The theory relates strongly to decision making, social phenomenons and mental angst. Many paradigms exist within cognitive dissonance. Two important paradigms are the Belief Disconfirmation paradigm and the Free Choice paradigm. There are several experiments that have been studied that relate to cognitive dissonance, including the boring tasks experiment. The person who coined the phrase cognitive dissonance is the famous Leon Festinger, and he studied it inside and out. Cognitive dissonance is one of the most important topics within psychology because it questions the mind and explains social phenomena. Cognitive dissonance challenges the reinforcement theory. The reinforcement theory has been around for a long time, much longer than the cognitive dissonance theory. The reinforcement theory states that social-psychological phenomena are explained through behavioral approaches (Metin). On the contrary, cognitive dissonance theory is based off of cognitions (the process of knowing and perceiving) and dissonance (mental distress). The theory states that individuals strive toward consistency. If there is inconsistency, people try to make up for it to have mental comfort (Metin). Consonance means consistency and dissonance means inconsistency. Our minds constantly try to balance these two things to have a healthy mind. Depending on the magnitude of the dissonance, our mind uses cognitions to balance out the inconsistency to create a stable mindset (Metin). Dissonance might arise from logical inconsistencies, cultural morals, encompassing cognition or past experiences (Metin). There are ways to categorize different kinds of situations of dissonance. These categories are called paradigms.

The belief disconfirmation paradigm states that dissonance arises...

Cited: “Cognitive Dissonance.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Web. 7 Feb. 2013. .
Festinger, Leon. “A Theory Of Cognitive Dissonance.” Stanford University Press. Stanford University Press, 1985. Web. 9 May 2013.
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Metin, Irem, Camgoz Selin . International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. Vol. 1 No. 6. June 2011. Web. 7 Feb. 2013. .
Schachter, Stanley. "Leon Festinger." National Academy of Sciences. National Academy of Sciences, 1994. Web. 9 May 2013. .
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