cognitive dissonance

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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.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

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.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

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.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
As labeling theory suggests, if a salesperson is not performing well in his/her position, that individual may feel negatively about him/herself and accept a "negative label." In turn, the low sales performance could hurt the salesperson's morale and mental state, thus facilitating the onset of depression, which could reinforce feelings of being a "negative deviant" and further influence the salesperson to behave more similar to his/her beliefs and feelings, as suggested by cognitive consistency theory.
This finding also seems to be supported by labeling theory and cognitive consistency theory where if one feels worse or different from peers, that individual could not only accept such a "label" but move into a downward spiral if negative consequences are further reinforced with cognitive consistency (i.e., if I am behaving badly, then maybe I am bad).
Moreover, criticality situations, when affected by level of expectation and cognitive consistency, may generate different results.
Thus, from cognitive consistency theory, different expectation levels by consumers can alter the attribution of cause in logistics customer service failures.
(5) Cross-cultural scholars have identified several common organizing principles in Western culture that appear to contribute to our drive for cognitive consistency. Notable among these are an orientation for certainty, Cartesian dualisms, linear/deductive systems of logic, and a general intolerance for ambiguity (Gudykunst & Kim, 2003).
The present study assumes the need for cognitive consistency between social values and political evaluations, but does not assume any one causal connection.
The assumption of cognitive consistency between values, attitudes and beliefs poses a dilemma, given what is known about the structure of social values and of conservative - liberal attitudes.
Since the analogies were also used to maintain cognitive consistency, the decision-making process of the Bush administration was not rational but, according to Hybel, was located at the farthest end of the continuum at cognitive consistency theory.
And, of course, we grant the theologian, the devout layperson, and the New Age acolyte at least a modicum of the intellectual curiosity and desire for cognitive consistency exemplified by scientific inquiry.
As naturalists, our penchant for cognitive consistency blocks what philosopher Paul Kurtz calls the "transcendental temptation," so we face death without the reassurance that any trace of what we are will continue.
According to Piaget (1970), as individuals learn they aspire to reach equilibrium, swinging between "assimilation of new experience to the old 'grammar' and the accommodation of the old 'grammar' to new experience." Cognitive consistency equilibrium involves encoding information and making it fit into one's schemata.
The inculcation of present structures into existing structures helps the individual to achieve equilibrium "Cognitive Consistency," a state of balance between the cognitive system and the demands upon the ability to compensate through action or mental operations for environmental changes without dismantling underlying structure.

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