This discomfort also happens when someone’s behavior doesn’t match reality or facts. Signs of cognitive dissonance include tense emotions after getting new information, denying reality, hypocritical behavior, isolating others who don’t comply with an untruth, and avoiding the reality of a situation overall. Whenever our actions and beliefs are not in alignment, we will be motivated to resolve internal conflict to restore a sense of peace. To show you how powerful this tendency can be, let’s take a look at this experiment that demonstrates people’s incredible ability to trick their own minds.
- In our opinion, this terminology is more integrated with the general theory (see Vaidis and Bran, 2018), as well as more connected to current knowledge (see also Proulx et al., 2012; Jonas et al., 2014; Levy et al., 2017).
- If you are experiencing cognitive dissonance, it is likely that you feel a broad range of emotions when thinking about your actions or decisions in comparison to your beliefs and attitudes.
- Scientific American is part of Springer Nature, which owns or has commercial relations with thousands of scientific publications (many of them can be found at /us).
- Cognitive dissonance is the uneasiness you feel when you have conflicting beliefs.
- Sometimes learning new information can lead to feelings of cognitive dissonance.
- As presented above, studies assessing arousal are unclear regarding whether the different cognitive dissonance paradigms elicit the same sort of arousal.
Another good example of cognitive dissonance in action involves end of the world cults. Members of these groups will be fully convinced that divine revelation has produced a date for when the world is going to end. When the world does not end as they predicted many of these individuals will still not abandon the group or the prophecy. They will adopt a new idea such as the belief that it was their actions that delayed the end of the world.
The Effect Cognitive Dissonance Has On Behaviors and Attitudes
If you always have a rational explanation for the choices that you are making then cognitive dissonance treatment may be necessary. It is time to evaluate and create a plan that allows you to become aware of the way you process decisions. These decisions can be the difference between staying sober or having a relapse. Negative https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/alternatives-to-alcohol/ consequences of cognitive dissonance reduction include procrastination or acting seemingly contrary to our values and beliefs. However, it can be beneficial to remind ourselves that it exists as a psychological safety mechanism to help us perceive the world consistently and to protect the perception we have about ourselves.
Cognitive Dissonance and How It Is Related to Addiction
] and if the decision was close then the effects of cognitive dissonance should be greater. In Hafer and Gosse (2010), we discuss a number of potential situational determinants of how people defend BJW in the face of threat. cognitive dissonance treatment Prevention programs based on cognitive dissonance and the use of the Internet have been widely and successfully implemented among female college models, but their use has not yet filtered down to the school setting.
Theoretically, dissonance may contribute to a variety of changes in behavior or beliefs. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people are averse to inconsistencies within their own minds. It offers one explanation for why people sometimes make an effort to adjust their thinking when their own thoughts, words, or behaviors seem to clash with each other. Festinger’s theory stated that if we do not feel the mental balance then we become uncomfortable enough to begin to justify our decisions for our actions.
Substance Abuse as an Example of Cognitive Dissonance
It is easier for them to add further delusions to their beliefs than to accept that they were wrong in the first place. People are able to believe fully in things that would not make much rational sense to other people. They can also engage in behavior that will be obviously illogical to other people, but that person will believe they have a rational explanation for this behavior. This explains why people are able to drink themselves to death even though their family and friends are doing all they can to help.
The Fox and the Grapes is the story of a fox that spots some delicious looking grapes hanging from a nearby branch. The animal really desires these grapes but is unable to think of any way to reach them – the branch is just a bit too high. The fox overcomes their discomfort with the situation by deciding that these grapes are not good to eat anyway. Join 550,000+ helping professionals who get free, science-based tools sent directly to their inbox. A good example is the prospect of embarrassing ourselves in front of others, such as by forgetting our words during a speech. However, after further thought, we may decide that it does not matter what others think of us and can thus reduce the dissonance.