Cognitive Dissonance

1266 Words6 Pages
Cognitive Dissonance Cognitive Dissonance or mental stress which is primarily caused by contradictory beliefs, can be a common part of some peoples life’s however we are psychologically motivated to avoid situations which cause mental stress. This paper will discuss a situation and the behavior using attribution theory, the reciprocal relationship between behavior and attitudes as well as how cognitive dissonance theory could be used to rationalize the behavior. Situation and Subsequent Behavior Richard is driving along a lonely road late at night after working late that day. He has a 4-year-old daughter who he has not spent much time with the entire week because of the long project that makes him work late. Similarly, he has not…show more content…
It is however worth noting that other factors also come into play concerning this relationship between behavior and attitudes (Albarracin et al. 2014). For instance, an individual’s behavior or attitudes can further be shaped by their social or cultural setting. For instance in a case whereby an individual is raised to believe that people in a given ethnic community or race are hostile or violent, the individual will automatically behave in a protective manner when around people from the particular ethnic group or race. In Richard’s scenario, he may have approached the situation with the attitude that people who walk alone in the dark are either criminals or drunkards ad thus they are mostly up to no good. This attitude may have further influenced his behavior to speed up his car without bothering to know who the man was or what had happened to him. On the other hand, Richard’s behavior may have shaped his attitude as well. The fact that he simply drove away without finding out what had happened to the man may have shaped his attitudes to the extent that he would most likely do the same when faced with a similar situation again. How Cognitive Dissonance Theory could be used to Rationalize the Behavior Sanderson (2009) reveals that the cognitive dissonance theory is a social psychology theory whose main proponent was

More about Cognitive Dissonance

Open Document