Examples Of Cognitive Dissonance Theory In American History X

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Derek also provides an example of Hypothesis 2: Post decision dissonance creates a need for reassurance. Festinger defines post decision dissonance as “ strong doubts experienced after making an important decision” (Griffin, et al). Derek experiences strong post decision dissonance after leaving the Aryan Brotherhood. When he leaves one of the members tells him that he will be punished. This causes dissonance within Derek, he wonders if he made the right decision, and he feels regret almost. Derek’s decision to leave also creates post decision dissonance in another way. After parting ways with the gang he begins to feel dissonance for deciding to join the gang in the first place. He realizes who foolish their beliefs are, and how his choice to join had hurt those around him, namely his younger brother. Hypothesis 3.) Minimal justification for…show more content…
From Festinger’s minimal justification hypothesis to the theory of compliance, the two main characters experience every facet of cognitive dissonance theory to varying degrees. Applying cognitive dissonance theory to American History X has given me a lot of insight into the film. I have seen this movie several times but I am seeing it in an entirely different way now. The theory of compliance and how it applies to Danny really sticks out to me. When I had watched the movie previously I saw Danny’s increasing involvement in the neo-nazi movement as a voluntary thing for him. I thought that he would have been excited because when his brother went away to prison he became one of the highest ranking gang members by taking his place, but after applying cognitive dissonance theory, and the idea of compliance, I now see that he was just partaking because that was what the gang expected of him, not necessarily because that is what he wanted. I do not see any limits to the application of cognitive dissonance theory to American History

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