Cognitive dissonance

Cognitive dissonance
“In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.[1][2]”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance
“Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors.

This produces a feeling of discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance etc.

For example, when people smoke (behavior) and they know that smoking causes cancer (cognition).

Festinger’s (1957) cognitive dissonance theory suggests that we have an inner drive to hold all our attitudes and beliefs in harmony and avoid disharmony (or dissonance).

attitude change cognitive dissonance cartoon

Attitudes may change because of factors within the person. An important factor here is the principle of cognitive consistency, the focus of Festinger’s (1957) theory of cognitive dissonance. This theory starts from the idea that we seek consistency in our beliefs and attitudes in any situation where two cognitions are inconsistent.”
http://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive-dissonance.html

Cognitive Dissonance
“Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation. It therefore occurs when there is a need to accommodate new ideas, and it may be necessary for it to develop so that we become “open” to them. Neighbour (1992) makes the generation of appropriate dissonance into a major feature of tutorial (and other) teaching: he shows how to drive this kind of intellectual wedge between learners’ current beliefs and “reality”.

Beyond this benign if uncomfortable aspect, however, dissonance can go “over the top”, leading to two interesting side-effects for learning:

if someone is called upon to learn something which contradicts what they already think they know — particularly if they are committed to that prior knowledge — they are likely to resist the new learning. Even Carl Rogers recognised this. Accommodation is more difficult than Assimilation, in Piaget’s terms.
and—counter-intuitively, perhaps—if learning something has been difficult, uncomfortable, or even humiliating enough, people are less likely to concede that the content of what has been learned is useless, pointless or valueless. To do so would be to admit that one has been “had”, or “conned”.
http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/dissonance.htm#ixzz3g3gtQtIU
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives”
http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/dissonance.htm

What Is Cognitive Dissonance?
“People tend to seek consistency in their beliefs and perceptions. So what happens when one of our beliefs conflicts with another previously held belief? The term cognitive dissonance is used to describe the feelings of discomfort that result from holding two conflicting beliefs. When there is a discrepancy between beliefs and behaviors, something must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance.
How exactly does cognitive dissonance work and how does it influence how we think and behave?

Psychologist Leon Festinger proposed a theory of cognitive dissonance centered on how people try to reach internal consistency. He suggested that people have an inner need to ensure that their beliefs and behaviors are consistent. Inconsistent or conflicting beliefs leads to disharmony, which people strive to avoid.

In his book A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, Festinger explained, “Cognitive dissonance can be seen as an antecedent condition which leads to activity oriented toward dissonance reduction just as hunger leads toward activity oriented toward hunger reduction. It is a very different motivation from what psychologists are used to dealing with but, as we shall see, nonetheless powerful.”

The amount of dissonance people experience can depend on a few different factors, including how highly we value a particular belief and the degree to which our beliefs are inconsistent. The overall strength of the dissonance can be influenced by several factors.

Cognitions that are more personal, such as beliefs about the self, tend to result in greater dissonance. The importance of the cognitions also plays a role. Things that involve highly valued typically result in stronger dissonance. The ratio between dissonant thoughts and consonant thoughts can also play a role in how strong the feelings of dissonance are. The greater the strength of the dissonance, the more pressure there is to relieve the feelings of discomfort.

Cognitive dissonance can often have a powerful influence on our behaviors and actions. Let’s start by looking at some examples of how this works.

Examples of Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance can occur in many areas of life, but it is particularly evident in situations where an individual’s behavior conflicts with beliefs that are integral to his or her self-identity. For example, consider a situation in which a man who places a value on being environmentally responsible just purchased a new car that he later discovers does not get great gas mileage.

The conflict:

It is important for the man to take care of the environment.
He is driving a car that is not environmentally-friendly.
In order to reduce this dissonance between belief and behavior, he has a few difference choices. He can sell the car and purchase another one that gets better gas mileage or he can reduce his emphasis on environmental-responsibility. In the case of the second option, his dissonance could be further minimized by engaging in actions that reduce the impact of driving a gas-guzzling vehicle, such as utilizing public transportation more frequently or riding his bike to work on occasion.

A more common example of cognitive dissonance occurs in the purchasing decisions we make on a regular basis. Most people want to hold the belief that they make good choices. When a product or item we purchase turns out badly, it conflicts with our previously existing belief about our decision-making abilities.

More Examples

“The person who continues to smoke, knowing that it is bad for his health, may also feel (a) he enjoys smoking so much it is worth it; (b) the chances of his health suffering are not as serious as some would make out; (c) he can’t always avoid every possible dangerous contingency and still live; and (d) perhaps even if he stopped smoking he would put on weight which is equally bad for his health. So, continuing to smoke is, after all, consistent with his ideas about smoking.”
(Festinger, 1957)
“Imagine that you prepared at great length for a dinner party at your home. You constructed the guest list, sent out the invitations, and prepared the menu. Nothing was too much effort for your party: you went to the store, prepared the ingredients, and cooked for hours, all in anticipation of how pleasant the conversation and people would be. Except it wasn’t. The guests arrived late, the conversations were forced, and the food was slightly overcooked by the time all of your guests arrived. The anticipation and excitement of the great time you were going to have are discordant with your observation of the evening. The pieces do not fit. You’re upset, partly because the evening did not go well, but also because of the inconsistency between your expectation and your experience. You are suffering from the uncomfortable, unpleasant state of cognitive dissonance.”
(Cooper, 2007)
How to Reduce Cognitive Dissonance

According to Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance, people try to seek consistency in their thoughts, beliefs, and opinions. So when there are conflicts between cognitions, people will take steps to reduce the dissonance and feelings of discomfort. They can go about doing this a few different ways.There are three key strategies to reduce or minimize cognitive dissonance:

Focus on more supportive beliefs that outweigh the dissonant belief or behavior.
For example, people who learn that greenhouse emissions result in global warming might experience feelings of dissonance if they drive a gas-guzzling vehicle. In order to reduce this dissonance, they might seek out new information that disputes the connection between greenhouse gases and global warming. This new information might serve to reduce the discomfort and dissonance that the person experiences.
Reduce the importance of the conflicting belief.
For example, a man who cares about his health might be disturbed to learn that sitting for long periods of time during the day are linked to a shortened lifespan. Since he has to work all day in an office and spends a great deal of time sitting, it is difficult to change his behavior in order to reduce his feelings of dissonance. In order to deal with the feelings of discomfort, he might instead find someway to justify his behavior by believing that his other healthy behaviors make up for his largely sedentary lifestyle.
Change the conflicting belief so that it is consistent with other beliefs or behaviors.
Changing the conflicting cognition is one of the most effective ways of dealing with dissonance, but it is also one of the most difficult. Particularly in the case of deeply held values and beliefs, change can be exceedingly difficult.”
http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/f/dissonance.htm

 

 

Cognitive Dissonance
“Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors.

This produces a feeling of discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance etc.

For example, when people smoke (behavior) and they know that smoking causes cancer (cognition).

Festinger’s (1957) cognitive dissonance theory suggests that we have an inner drive to hold all our attitudes and beliefs in harmony and avoid disharmony (or dissonance).

attitude change cognitive dissonance cartoon

Attitudes may change because of factors within the person. An important factor here is the principle of cognitive consistency, the focus of Festinger’s (1957) theory of cognitive dissonance. This theory starts from the idea that we seek consistency in our beliefs and attitudes in any situation where two cognitions are inconsistent.

Leon Festinger (1957) proposed cognitive dissonance theory, which states that a powerful motive to maintain cognitive consistency can give rise to irrational and sometimes maladaptive behavior.

http://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive-dissonance.html

 

 

 

 

Cognitive Dissonance in Game Design
https://ideatetowin.com/2012/08/07/cognitive-dissonance-in-game-design/

 

Cognitive Dissonance (Leon Festinger)
“Dissonance theory applies to all situations involving attitude formation and change. It is especially relevant to decision-making and problem-solving.”
http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/cognitive-dissonance.html

Classics in the History of Psychology:
COGNITIVE CONSEQUENCES OF FORCED COMPLIANCE
by Leon Festinger & James M. Carlsmith[1] (1959)
http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Festinger/

 

Cognitive Dissonance
https://www.dowellwebtools.com/tools/lp/Bo/psyched/3/Cognitive_Dissonance