StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Cognitive Dissonance - Essay Example

Extract of sample
Cognitive Dissonance

"Cognitive dissonance is a motivational state brought about when a person has cognitive elements that imply the opposite of one another" (Wicklund and Brehm 10). In the search to understand the causes of events, people seem disposed to explain them in terms of the personal characteristics of those associated with the events. First, explaining events in terms of persons permits a simpler organization of the world than does an extended and differentiated causal analysis. It is easier to view the person as the cause than to track down and keep in mind numerous other factors. Third, attribution to persons makes irreversible events appear to be reversible, even if only symbolically. For example, Wicklund and Brehm (2001) suggest that revenge is a symbolic reversing of events. A need for justice may promote attribution to persons in another way. In order to preserve a belief that the world is just, critics perceive those who receive good outcomes as good persons and those who receive bad outcomes as bad. Lerner and his colleagues have gathered considerable support for this idea (Walster 87).
There is the importance of both choice and high self-esteem for causing dissonance from engaging in harmful, attitudinal behavior. Only for people high in self-esteem, it is reasoned, would such an action be inconsistent with the self-concept and likely to produce dissonance. The theory could handle the results by arguing that, given choice, an outside observer would more confidently infer that the person truly disliked the victim if his conception of his personality was such that he could act confidently on his principles and beliefs. In any event, for present purposes the experiment demonstrates again that our own behavior and the circumstances in which it occurs can significantly affect liking for another person (Festinger 33).
For instance, success and failure may be taken as signs of an individual's merits beyond what a rational analysis would call for. Outcomes may influence the esteem in which the person is held by others and that he feels for himself. The impact of the outcome on self-esteem may be greater to the extent that the outcome is attributed to the person. The desire to deny responsibility for bad outcomes, may really be the desire to protect self-esteem from the negative implication of producing bad effects. And taking credit for good acts can be regarded as an attempt to enhance self-esteem. Thus, cognitive dissonance may be a way to enhance or preserve self-esteem (Walster 87). In true cognitive dissonance, threat to self-esteem depends on two necessary factors. One is that the outcome must be attributed to the person. The other is that the attribution made must be relevant to the person's self-esteem. If either factor is absent, there is no threat. Critics and psychologists will call these factors the outcome/attribution factor and the attribution/self-esteem factor. If both are present to some degree, the threat to self-esteem depends on the strength of each factor. The threat is greater, the ...Show more

Summary

The theory of cognitive dissonance suggests that two or more opposite ideas or beliefs held by a person may cause uncomfortable feelings or dissonance. The dissonance is a result of different attitudes, beliefs and learnt behavior patterns. People may change their attitudes toward disliking only when they have choice about reading the evaluation and would not later have an opportunity to meet with the target and explain their social or personal behavior patterns (Festinger 33)…
Author : lemuel17
Cognitive Dissonance essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Cognitive Dissonance"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Theory of Cognitive Dissonance
Cognition has little or no connections with each other and hence are unrelated. However some of these cognitions are related but they don’t have to follow each other and may furthermore be direct opposites. Many people hate having cognitive dissonance.
11 pages (2750 words) Essay
Cognitive dissonance theory
The theory replaces previous conditioning or reinforcement theories by perceiving individuals as more purposeful decision makers, as they strive for balance in their beliefs. Cognitive dissonance theory applies to circumstances involving attitude formation and change.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Connection between self-attribution and cognitive dissonance
Self attribution which is also referred to as self serving attribution seeks to explain how people justify their behaviors and those of others, with positive outcomes being linked to internal factors and negative outcome to external factors. In order to understand this, tests have been carried out whereby participants are asked questions or given a task then a feedback is given which can be either successful or failure and then the participants make internal or external attribution.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Cognitive dissonance and its Importance
They may do this by changing their perceptions to accept reality. They may alternatively seek information that confirms their beliefs so that the credibility of real experiences is reduced. Some may even ignore the information that challenges their beliefs.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Cognitive Dissonance Essay
Some of the greatest tragedies mankind has inflicted on themselves is the result of one man's irrational beliefs foisted on another. The attempt by Nazi Germany to conquer the world is a fitting example. This tiny, landlocked nation had limited resources, limited man power, and faced warfare on every border in order for them to achieve their goal.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
The Role of Emotions in Cognitive Dissonance and Cognitive Behaviorism
It is probable that this is so because altruism is more of a social mechanism that enhances overall human survival while optimism acts more on the personal level to do the same work. The study first personal well-beings factors like self-esteem and moves on to cognitive dissonance and the relationship it may engender between the individual and society.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Consumer Behaviour dissonance
In his statement, Epictetus clearly indicates that what one wears to project his external image should match his/her self-cognition. Thus, the happening of self-cognition precedes self-adornment, and product purchase: since under ordinary circumstances in today's world, to wear something, one needs to purchase it.
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Cognitive Dissonance (Social and Cultural Contexts of Behavior)
In other words, there is a desire for balance that drives us to eliminate the dissonance by either changing our attitudes or behaviors (Stevens). In that sense, Cognitive Dissonance theory is essentially a theory of behavior
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Explore and analyse the nature of perception, cognitive dissonance, memory and context dependence in relation firstly to Twelve Angry Men (URL below). Students must then apply this analysis to the demise of ENRON, focusing on which of these psychological
Decision making is usually performed in a state of doubt or uncertainty. The project is also subjected to irrational thoughts and biases. Making a rational decision is undoubtedly a challenge.
12 pages (3000 words) Essay
Phsyological Arousal and Dissonance
Three main revisions remain germane to the contemporary analysis of dissonance phenomena. According to Vaidis and Gosling (2011) Aronson’s
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation