cognitive dissonance

Topics: Cognitive dissonance, Cognition / Pages: 16 (3849 words) / Published: Oct 21st, 2013
The theory of cognitive dissonance
By Adam Kowol

Contents:
1.

INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................... 2

2.

FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS AND PRINCIPLES........................................... 2

3.

MAJOR COGNITIVE DISSONANCE PHENOMENA ...................................... 4

4.

REVISIONS AND ALTERNATIVE INTERPRETATIONS .............................. 9

5.

TENTATIVE ASSESSMENT OF THE THEORY............................................. 10

REFERENCES ............................................................................................................... 11

1. Introduction
The aim of the present paper is to provide a general overview of cognitive dissonance theory. We begin by defining the basic concepts and summarizing the principal postulates of the theory. We point to possible classifications of the theory in terms of different forms of scholarship and types of theory by considering relevant philosophical and methodological assumptions. We go on to discuss the main areas of research focusing on dissonance phenomena. In addition, we present major revisions and alternative interpretations of the theory. We conclude by attempting to assess the theory on the basis of generally accepted criteria. The theory of cognitive dissonance is one of the most significant and influential theories in the history of social psychology. Suffice it to mention that only five years after its introduction, Brehm and Cohen (1962, as cited in Bem, 1967, p. 183) could review over fifty studies conducted within the framework the theory. In the following five years, every major social-psychological journal averaged at least one article per issue probing some prediction derived from its basic propositions. In the course of five decades that have passed since it was formulated by Leon Festinger, it has found widespread applications in various fields of
scientific



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