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 ?
A theory of Cognitive Dissonance, Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
(39) The theory of cognitive dissonance was first introduced by psychologist Leon Festinger (1919-1989) in his 1957 publication A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance.
The principle of cognitive dissonance was made popular in the late 1950s by Leon Festinger's book, Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. The website provides the following definition: "According to cognitive dissonance theory, there is a tendency for individuals to seek consistency among their cognitions (i.e., beliefs, opinions).
The theory of cognitive dissonance holds that contradicting cognitions serve as a driving force that compels the human mind to acquire or invent new thoughts or beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, so as to minimize the amount of dissonance (conflict) between cognitions.
Utilizing the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance to elicit positive health behavior change in future interventions could be useful in improving the diet and physical activity behaviors of college students.
The theory of cognitive dissonance seems to provide a promising model that can explain the effects of rational and moral justification of consumers when purchasing counterfeit products.
Contradiction--it may be supposed that at least one of the two starting points is wrong, and this may lead to forgetting or deletion as mentioned before; the theory of cognitive dissonance should be considered, too.
Self-justification theory draws on both Festinger's (1957) theory of cognitive dissonance and Kiesler's (1971) theory of psychological commitment to explain the motivation underlying managers' escalation of commitment.
(1957) A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Recent research in the areas of mass media persuasion, diffusion of ideas through social groups, and especially the studies growing out of the development of the theory of cognitive dissonance have demonstrated the fallacy of the premises inherent in the traditional studies of advertising believability.
One way of understanding the group psychology of those movements in which the end of the world is predicted by a messiah figure and which yet manage to continue after the date given for the apocalypse has passed, is via the theory of cognitive dissonance. The work of Leon Festinger and colleagues, who, like Wilson, include Sabbatai Sevi as one of their examples, could usefully have been brought into play instead of putting such repeated emphasis on sex.

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