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Theory Of Cognitive Dissonance Theory

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Cognitive dissonance is widely regarded as a post decision theory, meaning that it’s constructs are enacted when individuals attempt to persuade themselves after a decision or course of action has already been carried out (Dainton & Zelley, 2015). This persuasion only occurs when the individual must confront the inconsistency between their actions and beliefs. Because this confrontation occurs within the individual, Cognitive Dissonance Theory is a psychological perspective. This means that different psychological variables will affect the behavior of the individual. While cognitive dissonance occurs solely within the individual, that is not to say that other’s are not aware of it and won’t capitalize off it. Dissonance can be a powerful tool of persuasion, and many industries use this to their advantage. By creating and exploiting dissonance, advertisers will offer a product or solution to remedy this discomfort, and it is likely that it will be adopted by the receiver. However, as noted by Gass and Seiter (2003), if too much…show more content…
In terms of consistency, cognitive dissonance goes hand in hand with many of the communication field’s most accepted intrapersonal theories. For instance, cognitive dissonance goes hand in hand with uncertainty reduction theory because uncertainty is a form of dissonance, and also uncomfortable. Cognitive dissonance is built upon the assumption that humans work to minimize discomfort, which is consistent across other intrapersonal theories. One of the major theoretical weaknesses of cognitive dissonance stems from the fact that it is from a psychological perspective. Because of this, it may overlook possible outside factors that could have affected a behavioral change. For instance, one may act in a way that anticipates dissonance but is unavoidable given the circumstances. Practical
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