Cognitive Dissonance Essay

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Cognitive dissonance can be described as the feeling of discomfort resulting from holding two conflicting beliefs. It can also be said to be the mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. A well-known psychologist Leon Festinger (1919–89), introduced this concept in the late 1950s where he proved that, when confronted with challenging new information; most people are observed to preserve their current understanding of the world by rejecting or avoiding the new information or by convincing themselves that no conflict really exists in one way or the other (Festinger, 04).
Cognitive dissonance is a communication theory mostly used in the field of social psychology in providing a theoretical
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These types of cognitions are the ones we are referring to as dissonant.
It is worth noting that cognitive dissonance is not something you can easily spot / identify in a person. This is because of the fact that it is not a physical behavior or characteristic in a person. This explains why people view cognitive dissonance as subjective and not objective. However, there are certain behaviors in a person that may suggest that they are experiencing cognitive dissonance.
Diversion from normal behavior by an individual, this involves the involuntary change of someone’s usual way of doing things. This is a common scenario when someone is expected to make a choice on something (Reeves, Ch.10). When a person realizes that their actions are not in agreement with what they belief based on a choice they make, then this may be attributed to cognitive dissonance. People usually have strong beliefs on issues such as; religion, family, health, and ways of life. Changing of such beliefs in person would take effort and to some point one may never succeed. Many scholars suggest that cognitive is stronger in cases where someone beliefs something about themselves and then end doing / acting against it.
Cognitive dissonance can be evident when a person is justifying their behavior / actions. This may be by either adding a new cognition or by changing a conflicting cognition. Reeve explains that this mainly occurs when the outcomes of an action is as

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