Assignment on Cognitive Dissonance

1417 Words Nov 21st, 2012 6 Pages
Theory Paper on Cognitive Dissonance Theory

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn 't fit in with the core belief.”
― Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (1)

The quote cited above very well explains one of the most important and yet so practical theory in Communication studies. Leon Festinger gave this theory which revolves around the idea that people do things that don’t fit with what
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However, still he carries on with an unhealthy lifestyle of eating oily food, drinking excessive alcohol and smoking with no exercise. This is where a dissonance arises in his thoughts and the corresponding actions. Moreover, he also tends to avoid speaking on such issues with his family or the doctor in order to continue the same way as he has been in order to reduce the dissonance caused by such advices given to him.

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Post decision dissonance reduction

This concept talks about how one would want to reduce the dissonance created in their mind once a decision has already been taken. For example, lets say I purchase a piece of land somewhere in an unknown place outside my home turf. Now, since I found the offer lucrative, I did not research much on the cost to benefit analysis, the return on investment or the legal hassles related to the illegal land grabbing in that area and this is creating a dissonance in my mind. In order to reduce the dissonance I would speak to people residing in that area or those who know about the business conditions prevailing in that area or some property experts in order to reassure myself that I made the right decision. This process will in effect reduce the dissonance created after the purchase.

Criticism: The setback which has been observed about this theory at times is that the theory uses a very small set of sample size while proposing a factual observation. However, a better way of ensuring the

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