Essay On Cognitive Dissonance

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Cognitive Dissonance Cognitive dissonance is a theory defined as “the discomfort people feel when two cognitions (beliefs, attitudes) conflict, or when they behave in ways that are inconsistent with their conception of themselves” (Aronson, 2016, pg. 158). This, in turn, causes discomfort that can be difficult to ease. Some basic ways to reduce cognitive dissonance are: Realign our behavior with the dissonant condition, justify our behavior by changing one of the dissonant behaviors, justify our behavior by adding additional cognitions. The reason we experience cognitive dissonance is that as humans we aim to keep a positive self-image, but occasionally we go against that image and cause cognitive dissonance (Aronson, 2016). The following are a few examples of my own experiences with cognitive dissonance. On Sundays, my entire family gets together to eat, and of course we over cook every Sunday. After everyone had finished eating I realized that I had overeaten a great deals worth. This caused me to experience cognitive dissonance because I know that I am overweight and that overeating is not only unhealthy but is also going to set me back on my weight loss goal. I felt extremely disappointed in myself and guilty that I had ruined a whole week's worth of healthy eating. I knew that to reduce my feeling of discomfort I would either have to justify my actions or correct them. At first I justified my actions by saying that it really wasn't that unhealthy since I had eaten well the rest of the week, but I realized justifying my action in that way would lead me to overeat again, so I ended up reducing my discomfort by eating healthy that night, and promising myself to correct my actions next Sunday and not overeat again. The following ... ... middle of paper ... ...shocked by the assignment because I did not expect to run into that many occasions where I experienced cognitive dissonance. I originally thought I might have trouble with journaling about my experience, but I discovered I encountered cognitive dissonance quite frequently. I also discovered that I usually only struggle with the same situation once or twice, because the discomfort that I feel, causes me to not want to repeat the situation. I learned a lot about not only myself but about others because of this assignment. I now understand more deeply about why people justify their actions, and I realized a lot about my own beliefs and morals. I did not know how strongly I felt about my work ethic until I missed that assignment on purpose. Now I believe I will be more consciously aware of how I reduce my discomfort when I face similar situations in the future.

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