How much do you know about cognitive dissonance?

jwblackwell avatar
By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is cognitive dissonance?

What causes cognitive dissonance?

How do people reduce cognitive dissonance?

What are the three cognitive biases that are components of dissonance theory?

How can cognitive dissonance be resolved?

What is post-purchase dissonance?

What is the cognitive dissonance theory of communication?

What is the predictive dissonance model?

What is the Body Project?


Cognitive Dissonance: A Summary

  • Cognitive dissonance is the mental stress experienced when people perceive contradictory information, often involving their actions, feelings, ideas, beliefs, values, and their environment.

  • Cognitive dissonance is caused by the clash between a person's belief and new information, leading to discomfort, which they try to resolve to reduce their discomfort.

  • People seek internal psychological consistency to function mentally in the real world, and when they experience internal inconsistency, they become psychologically uncomfortable and are motivated to reduce cognitive dissonance.

  • People reduce cognitive dissonance by changing their cognition, adding new parts to it, rationalizing, or avoiding circumstances and contradictory information.

  • The magnitude of dissonance is the level of discomfort caused to the person, and two factors determine the degree of psychological dissonance: the relationship between two different internal beliefs or an action that is incompatible with the person's beliefs.

  • People reduce the magnitude of cognitive dissonance by changing their behavior, changing their attitude, or trivializing their behavior.

  • Three cognitive biases are components of dissonance theory: the bias where one feels they do not have any biases, the bias where one is "better, kinder, smarter, more moral, and nicer than average," and confirmation bias.

  • People selectively expose themselves to media that fit their current state of mind, mood, or beliefs, prefer consonant messages over dissonant ones, and avoid attitude-challenging information.

  • Cognitive dissonance can be resolved by changing the challenged belief, seeking moral support from people who share the contradicted beliefs, or acting to persuade others that the contradiction is unreal.

  • The four theoretic paradigms of cognitive dissonance are belief disconfirmation, induced compliance, free choice, and effort justification, which explain how people experience cognitive dissonance when exposed to information that is inconsistent with their beliefs, ideals, or values.

  • Cognitive dissonance occurs when a person is faced with a difficult decision and when the rejected choice may still have desirable characteristics to the chooser.

  • Music is a stimulus that can diminish post-decisional dissonance, and the action of deciding provokes psychological dissonance consequent to choosing X instead of Y, despite little difference between X and Y.Cognitive Dissonance: A Summary

  • Cognitive dissonance occurs when a person experiences mental stress due to a conflict between their actions and beliefs.

  • Effort justification refers to a person justifying unpleasant activities to achieve a goal by exaggerating the desirability of the goal.

  • Meat-eating can cause cognitive dissonance, but the extent of this varies depending on the individual's values and attitudes.

  • Smokers use justification beliefs to reduce their cognitive dissonance about smoking tobacco and its negative consequences.

  • Littering is a form of cognitive dissonance, especially if the person feels bad after littering but continues to do so.

  • Cognitive dissonance can occur with unpleasant medical screenings, causing unfavorable attitudes towards the test.

  • Cognitive dissonance can be used in education, psychotherapy, and social behavior to promote positive behaviors.

  • COVID-19 has caused cognitive dissonance in people who believe in safety measures but fail to follow through with them.

  • The hypocrisy paradigm can be used to resolve cognitive dissonance by reminding people of their beliefs and past actions.

  • Personal responsibility plays a role in cognitive dissonance, as people may experience dissonance if they foresee negative consequences.Cognitive Dissonance: Overview and Applications

  • Cognitive dissonance is a psychological concept that refers to the mental discomfort that arises when a person holds two or more conflicting beliefs, values, or ideas.

  • It was first proposed by Leon Festinger in the 1950s and has since been applied to various fields, including consumer behavior, politics, communication, artificial intelligence, and alternative paradigms.

  • Post-purchase dissonance occurs when a consumer experiences regret or dissatisfaction with a purchase and attempts to justify their decision through various means, such as seeking out information that confirms their decision or changing attitudes to conform to the decision.

  • Cognitive dissonance can also affect brand loyalty, as positive experiences and emotions associated with a brand increase the likelihood of repeat purchases and recommendations while negative experiences and emotions decrease them.

  • In politics, cognitive dissonance can cause voters to defend the actions of the candidate they voted for and even question the validity of election results, as seen in the 2020 US election.

  • Cognitive dissonance theory of communication suggests that people attempt to reduce psychological discomfort by downplaying the importance of conflicting thoughts, outweighing them with consonant thoughts, or incorporating them into their current belief system.

  • Cognitive dissonance can be introduced into machine learning to assist in developing 'creative autonomy' among agents and ultimately lead to the development of artificial general intelligence.

  • Alternative paradigms to cognitive dissonance theory include self-perception theory, balance theory, cost-benefit analysis, self-discrepancy theory, and the predictive dissonance model.

  • Technological advances have allowed psychologists to study the biomechanics of cognitive dissonance through methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

  • The action-motivation model proposes that inconsistencies in a person's cognition cause mental stress because psychological inconsistency interferes with the person's functioning in the real world, and cognitive dissonance produces a state of negative affect that motivates the person to reconsider the causative behavior to resolve the psychological inconsistency.

  • The predictive dissonance model proposes that cognitive dissonance is fundamentally related to the predictive coding model of cognition, where the motivation for cognitive dissonance reduction is related to an organism's active drive for reducing prediction error.

  • Neuroscience findings have identified the neural bases of cognitive dissonance, such as increased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex and insula.Neural scans of participants show that cognitive dissonance causes activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and anterior insular cortex.

Studies confirm the neural basis of cognitive dissonance, including the neural activity of rationalization in decision-making processes.

The left frontal cortex is associated with the emotion of anger and is motivated by anger in the face of cognitive dissonance.

Pre-school-age children and Capuchin monkeys exhibit cognitive dissonance when offered choices between two like options, suggesting an evolutionary force behind the phenomenon.

The hypothesis of an action-based model of cognitive-dissonance processes proposes that psychological dissonance occurs after thoughts interfere with goal-driven behavior.

Neural activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex is associated with the social emotion of envy and embarrassment, and with a reduced sense of empathy and an increased propensity towards antisocial behavior.

The Body Project, which is rooted in the theory of cognitive dissonance, targets eating disorders by using cognitive dissonance to bring awareness and thoughts of positive change.

Artificial neural network models can explain the formation of psychological attitudes and the mechanisms for changing them.


Test your knowledge of cognitive dissonance with our quiz! This quiz covers the basic concepts of cognitive dissonance, its causes and effects, its application in various fields, and the different paradigms and theories associated with it. From post-purchase dissonance to the neural bases of cognitive dissonance, this quiz covers a wide range of topics related to this fascinating phenomenon. Challenge yourself and see how much you know about cognitive dissonance!

Make Your Own Quiz

Transform your notes into a shareable quiz, with AI.

Get started for free

More Quizzes Like This

Cognitive Dissonance Theory Quiz
5 questions
Cognitive Dissonance Theory Quiz
15 questions
Cognitive Dissonance Quiz
54 questions