Cognitive Dissonance Examples

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Cognitive dissonance is the sense of mental disorganization or imbalance that may prompt a person to change when new information conflicts with previously organized thought patterns. The text states, “The incompatibly between your behavior and your new knowledge will make you feel uncomfortable” (381).

I have experienced cognitive dissonance when preparing for an exam. For instance, I will not study or not study as well as I should for a test. Then when I receive my test back or my score is posted, I realize that I really should have studied a lot harder. Then for the next exam I would try to study earlier and harder so I could retain the information so I would perform well on the test. Going into the class I know that I have a test, but I
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I have gone through several classes where I just hurry and memorize as many facts and examples as I can so I will get through the class and still earn a good grade. I end up not being able to remember such information after the semester is over. An example of this would be my Chemistry class. I am an Early Childhood Education major, and I do not need to know Chemistry to be able to teach Kindergarten through Fourth grade. Therefore, in my mind it was acceptable to just get through the class, because I felt that the material was not necessary for my future career. Of course, I can remember a few things from Chemistry, but nothing like I should be able to retain. I know that when I am just memorizing the material and not learning it or just getting through the class to get an A is not a good habit or ideal in any way, but I still do it. I now regret not focusing on learning the material, and I have been really trying in all of my classes following the Chemistry class to learn and retain the information given. I also think about how much money my parents and I have just thrown away, because I cannot remember the information that was taught. To think about 16 weeks’ worth of work, thousands of dollars, plus a book (or two) and almost nothing came of it, is actually really upsetting, that’s why I am working harder to keep the knowledge that I have paid to

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