Cognitive dissonance theory and examples o gosh corpus christi

In order to reduce this dissonance between belief and behavior, he has a few different 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.

In his 1957 book A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, Festinger offers one example of how an individual might deal with dissonance related to a health behavior. Individuals who smoke might continue to do so, even though they know it is bad for their health. Why would someone continue engaging in behavior they know is unhealthy?

Another way to deal with this dissonance is to minimize the potential drawbacks. The smoker might convince himself that the negative health effects have been overstated. He might also assuage his health concerns by telling himself that he cannot avoid every possible risk out there.

Finally, Festinger suggested that the smoker might try to convince himself that if he does stop smoking then he will gain weight, which also presents health risks. By using such explanations, the smoker is able to reduce the dissonance and continue the behavior. How to Reduce It

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.

• 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 gasses and global warming. This new information might serve to reduce the discomfort and dissonance that the person experiences.

• Reduce the importance of 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 some way 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.

Cognitive dissonance plays a role in many value judgments, decisions, and evaluations. Becoming aware of how conflicting beliefs impact the decision-making process is a great way to improve your ability to make faster and more accurate choices. Mismatches between your beliefs and your actions can lead to feelings of discomfort, but such feelings can sometimes lead to change and growth. In some instances, you might simply find a way to rationalize away the conflict, but in some cases, you might change either your beliefs or your behavior to make the two consistent.

For example, if you believe that exercise is important for your health but you rarely make time for physical activity, you may experience cognitive dissonance. This resulting discomfort may lead you to seek relief by increasing the amount of exercise you get each week. In this instance, altering your behavior to increase consistency with your belief and reduce the cognitive dissonance you are experiencing can play a positive role in your life and health.