Cognitive Dissonance

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Cognitive dissonance can be described as the feeling of discomfort resulting from holding two conflicting beliefs. It can also be said to be the mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. A well-known psychologist Leon Festinger (1919–89), introduced this concept in the late 1950s where he proved that, when confronted with challenging new information; most people are observed to preserve their current understanding of the world by rejecting or avoiding the new information or by convincing themselves that no conflict really exists in one way or the other (Festinger, 04).
Cognitive dissonance is a communication theory mostly used in the field of social psychology in providing a theoretical framework in dealing with various issues relating to psychology. The title provides us with the concept that cognitive is thinking while dissonance is the inconsistency or conflict brought about. Cognitive dissonance manifests when one holds two or more incompatible beliefs simultaneously. This theory has been used and applied in several disciplines including communication, due to its simplicity and straightforwardness. The theory is commonly applied in these dynamic fields since it replaces previous conditioning or reinforcement theories by viewing individuals as more purposeful decision makers striving to acquire a balance in their beliefs. Cognitions are chunks or bits of knowledge which can pertain to any variety of values, emotions or values. These cognations can be related to one another or they can also be completely independent from each other (Cooper, 06). For instance, one may like to eat junk food, but may also be trying to lose weight. The two cognitions are related to each other in tha...

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... information, it is clear that cognitive dissonance is a common occurrence to all individuals and no one has control over it. All individuals strive towards reducing the effects it may have on their activities and on their mind. The environment that children are brought up should be controlled because as seen here it plays a role in shaping the beliefs they hold on.

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