cognitive dissonance

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Related to Cognative dissonance: cognitive behavioral therapy

dissonance

 [dis´o-nans]
discord or disagreement.
cognitive dissonance anxiety or similar unpleasant feelings resulting from a lack of agreement between a person's established ideas, beliefs, and attitudes and some more recently acquired information or experience.

cog·ni·tive dis·so·nance the·o·ry

a theory of attitude formation and behavior describing a motivational state that exists when a person's cognitive elements (attitudes, perceived behaviors, etc.) are inconsistent with each other (dissonance), such as the espousal of the Ten Commandments concurrent with the belief that it is all right to cheat on one's taxes, and indicating that people try to achieve consistency (consonance) by changing attitudes, rationalizing, selective perception, and other means.
See also: balance theory, consistency principle.

cognitive dissonance

n. Psychology
The psychological tension that occurs when one holds mutually exclusive beliefs or attitudes and that often motivates people to modify their thoughts or behaviors in order to reduce the tension.

cognitive dissonance

Etymology: L, cognoscere, to know, dis, opposite of, sonare, to sound
a state of tension resulting from a discrepancy in a person's emotional and intellectual frame of reference for interpreting and coping with his or her environment. It usually occurs when new information contradicts existing assumptions or knowledge.

cog·ni·tive dis·so·nance

(kog'ni-tiv dis'ŏ-năns)
A motivational state that exists when a person's attitudes, perceptions, and related cognitive state are inconsistent with each other, e.g., hating African Americans as a group but admiring Martin Luther King, Jr.

cognitive dissonance

A psychological term meaning conflict resulting from inconsistency between beliefs and actions, as of a person professing an ethical code but cheating at the Customs.

cognitive dissonance

a subjective state of psychological tension induced when a person holds two or more cognitions that are inconsistent. For example, a person might hold the cognition that they enjoy smoking whilst at the same time believing that smoking is harmful to their health. It is proposed that such dissonant states motivate one of three kinds of behaviour to reduce the dissonance: changing one of the cognitions (for example, by changing the behaviour associated with it, such as giving up smoking); dismissing the importance of one of the cognitions (for example, by telling oneself that smoking is not that bad for one's health); or by adding a justifying cognition (for example, by telling oneself that one does not smoke too much).