This essay will first give a short overview about the theory of cognitive dissonance by Festinger. Subsequent, it will explain the phenomena of free will, induced compliance and effort justification, which all create a state of dissonance according to this theory. In the end, it will give you an overview over other theories suggested on the theme. Leon Festinger first proposed the theory “cognitive dissonance” in 1957, which has later been used to explain several phenomena, for example free will, induced compliance and effort justification (Harmon-Jones, 2012). According to Festinger, individuals strive to obtain a consistency between their cognitions (Festinger, 1957).
The evidence is proved by the two studies: Bobo doll experiment by Bandura and the natural experiment conducted by Charleton. It is very practical in its ability to be applied in real life situations. The social cognitive theory can be applied to explain many things such as aggressive behaviors and how behaviors can differ in different cultures. Concerning the construct validity, this is hard to observe and measure because we cannot be certain what actually causes aggressive behaviors. The theory is unbiased, however, looking at the studies, they are both done on children.
Cognitive dissonance is by definition the ¨state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs or attitudes (McLeod, Simply Psychology) which produces feelings of discomfort.” In order to dispel those feelings the brain leads a person to alter the thoughts, beliefs or attitudes that are in disagreement with the rest, restoring the brain to harmony. When we humans have a thought or commit an atrocity that goes against our morals or long standing beliefs we either apologize or justify the action, telling ourselves that the person we hurt deserved it and brought it upon themselves. We continue to search for justification until we no longer view ourselves as in the wrong. This mental capability has, in my opinion, been the leading agent in nationś wars and oppression against others. The most prominent being attempts to stamp out races because of their so called ¨inferior race/ heritage¨.
This suggests that psychological factors, too, can be important. The psychological perspective emphasizes the role of basic psychological processes in the occurrence of mental abnormality. For instance, many psychologists believe that learning plays a key role in many disorders. The psychological perspective also emphasizes the role of cognitive factors in mental abnormality. For instance, many theories of depression suggest that long – lasting negative feelings often stem from faulty patterns of thoughts.
Cognitive Dissonance According to Webster Dictionary (), cognitive dissonance is the discomfort caused by holding conflicting cognitions simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance in social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by altering existing cognitions. It 's also believed that by adding new cognitions, a person can create a consistent belief system, or alternative by reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant elements. Leon Festinger was an author, psychologist, and a realm of new light in the late 1950 's. In 1957, he wrote a book called Theory of Cognitive Dissonance where his research for this period was remarkable.
This would make the beliefs and behaviors consistant with one another and avoid dissonance. The main point of cognitive dissonance is that people want consistency in their attitudes and beliefs and if their beliefs are inconsistent with their behaviors they will have a motivation to reduce the dissonance change which can give them the cause to change behaviors. This change can sometimes be illogical and absurd but it helps them to reduce the conflicting attributes.
Personality is one of the main areas of psychology research. Over the years, researchers developed theories trying to explain how people are different and similar. Personality traits were grouped together to be determinants of more general traits such as Extraversion, Agreeableness or Neuroticism. The traits were tested for various correlations. All this to better understand why people behave the way they do and how big impact does the personality have on behaviour.
Cognitive Dissonance Theory was developed by social psychologist Leon Festinger. The theory was first introduced in his 1957 book A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance and further elaborated in the article Cognitive Consequences of Forced Compliance (Festinger and Carlsmith, 1959). Cognitive Dissonance refers to the discomfort that is felt when a person has two beliefs that conflict with each other, or when they are engaging in a behavior that conflicts with their values. The theory proposes that this discomfort motivates people to relieve the tension in one of two ways: (1) by changing their beliefs to align with their behavior; or (2) by changing their behavior to align with their beliefs (Oduh, 2016). Crucial to the theory is the idea that cognitive dissonance always results in some kind of change.
Scientists have tried to understand human behavior through a study called the Approach, which analyzes the mental process of humans during interactions. Initially, people considered the behavioural approach, the belief that the behavior in humans could be evaluated externally instead of internally. The scientists would study people interacting with their environment either positively or negatively and correlate the situation with the people’s emotions. For example, if a child were to get hit, they would cry. However, in recent years, scientists were dissatisfied with this approach due to the inherent nature of the approach to generalize humans.
Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term describing a mental trouble. It is a situation when a person acquires several conflicting values and ideas as a result of performing tasks that oppose their beliefs or expectations. So, the foundation of the theory of cognitive dissonance is an individual trying to balance the internal consistency with the occurrences taking place in the outside world. As this is a stress for the human brain, they often look for the ways to reduce it. A typical example of this theory is my experience of taking a course called Energy Sources at the university.