Monday, April 16, 2012

Cognitive dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting cognition (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values, emotional reactions) simultaneously. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise, dread, guilt, anger, or embarrassment.[1] The theory of cognitive dissonance in social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by altering existing cognition, adding new ones to create a consistent belief system or alternatively by reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant elements.An example of this would be the conflict between wanting to smoke and knowing that smoking is unhealthy; a person may try to change their feelings about the odds that they will actually suffer the consequences, or they might add the consonant element that the smoking is worth short term benefits. A general view of cognitive dissonance is when one is biased towards a certain decision even though other factors, such as environmental factors, favor another alternative....

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