An example of the identification theory would be someone simply liking or disliking something because someone that they wish to establish a close relationship with feels like same way.
The positive aspect of identification is that it can bring people together when they find they they have the same attitudes in regard to something specific. Many people may like the individuality of having their own behaviors and attitudes, while others may appreciate having someone to share it with. The negative aspect about this theory is that it disables some people from being able to make their own decisions and draw their own conclusions in concern of a specific topic. Even if they previously did not like something, they may change their attitude because the person they want to be close with feels differently. Another negative aspect to this theory is that if the person they are trying to get close to is no longer around, then there is no reason for that person to hold onto the attitude of someone else and they need to reform their own attitude.
Unlike identification, cognitive dissonance is when a person is at odds with how they feel about something; there is an inconsistency in their beliefs, causing one idea to become the opposite of another idea (Festinger, 1957). The person becomes uncomfortable by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously and attempt to change their attitudes to balance their ideas out. For example, if a person really wants something but is unable to obtain it, they criticize it, often with a lie or an assumption, because they are unable to get it. The components of cognitive dissonance include the person realizing that they have two contradicting beliefs; understanding and thus feeling uncomfortable that these two beliefs exist simultaneously; the person finds a means to rid themselves of one of the offending beliefs, so that they are left with only one.
The positive aspect of cognitive dissonance is that the person understands that they