Dissonance theory | definition of Dissonance theory by Medical dictionary
cognitive dissonance (redirected from Dissonance theory)
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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.
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
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.
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).
References in periodicals archive
1984), "A New Look at Dissonance Theory
," in Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol.
In line with Festinger's dissonance theory
, the model covers the conflicts between attitudes and purchase decisions or purchase behavior that are specific for counterfeit brands and products and lead to cognitive dissonance.
Such investigation may involve testing the implications of cognitive dissonance theory
2:20 "Cognitive dissonance theory
and judges scores at a springboard diving championship," William A.
In their updated look at dissonance theory
, Cooper and Fazio (1984) draw a distinction between what they refer to as dissonance arousal and dissonance motivation.
Wicklund and Brehm (1976) also expanded dissonance theory
by describing two components of dissonance: commitment and responsibility for the commitment.
Cognitive dissonance theory
(1) postulates that when individuals receive information contrary to their beliefs they may try to relieve the dissonance by decreasing their number of inconsistent behaviors (balance theory) or increasing their number of consistent behaviors (consistency theory).
Applying cognitive dissonance theory
(Festinger, 1957) to the counseling relationship, Strong (1968) hypothesized that a counselor's influence on a client is the product of cognitive dissonance created by the counselor's message.