Examples Of Cognitive Dissonance Theory

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INTRODUCTION OF THE THEORY Cognitive dissonance theory is a theory that developed by Leon Festinger in the year of 1957. Leon Festinger was an American social psychologist. He is well known for cognitive dissonance and social comparison theory. He was born in Brooklyn New York City on May 8, 1919. Leon Festinger finished his high school life in Boy’s High School in Brooklyn and finished his degree in psychology in City College of New York in 1939. Cognitive dissonance theory is used widely by the social psychologist for reference to create other cognitively based theories. The cognitive dissonance theory was tested through a famous experiment by Festinger and Carlsmith in the year of 1959. They gather two groups of people which consist of…show more content…
The term “cognitive “means thinking and “dissonance” means inconsistency or conflict. Cognitive dissonance theory is the feeling of uncomfortable tension which comes from holding two conflicting thoughts in the mind at the same time. (Cherry, 2015). When conflicts occurs, a change need to be done to solve the uncomfortable tension. Festinger replaced the term “consonance” instead of consistency and “dissonance” instead of inconsistency. Dissonance is very powerful when we are doing something that against what our belief tell us. Cognitive dissonance is a very powerful motivator which will often lead us to change one or other of the conflicting belief or action. Aristotle says that, human being is a social animal that has different conflicting shades in its personality, taught process, conducting patterns and executing preferences. When conflict occurs, if it is not powerful enough to be solved, people will tend to avoid and stay away from the problem and this might increase the level of conflicts and discomfort. This theory is commonly applied in the disciplines of economics, political sciences, international relations, psychology and sociology. It is also can be used in the fields of marketing, management, advertising and…show more content…
Although it brings a lot of benefits to the society but there are still some limitation in this theory. The first limitation is when the attitude or behavior does not change, researchers will just conclude that there must not have been enough or any dissonance. For example when a smoker knows that smoking is actually bad for health and might cause cancer but the smoker still continue smoking which researchers conclude that the level of dissonance is low but the main reason of the smoker not to quit smoking is because he/she feels that when health problem does not exist in them, a change or quit smoking is not necessary. The second limitation is the theory could never forecast the exact way dissonance can be reduced. Everyone has their own ways to reduce level of dissonance in themselves. Although this theory provided some ways on how to minimize dissonance but this theory can never make specific prediction to overcome the feeling of dissonance. As for example, when a gambler realizes that gambling is actually a bad habit, he/she will take action to reduce the level of dissonance by quit gambling or reduce gambling. This theory could not show the exact ways of the individual to reduce his/her level of dissonance as a change is hard to be
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