Cognitive Dissonance Theory Of Smoking

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Growing up I was never one for exercising let only eating healthy. Bad habits don’t die easily and soon enough as I got older they took their toll on my body. As grew not only vertically but horizontally instead of changing my habits I only continued them. I merely changed the way I looked at the problem by embracing the love for my naturally curves instead. Despite not only the public looking down on hefty women but with the further disapproval of my family that the dissonance began to weigh more. Things only progressively got worst when I was medically diagnosed with mild obesity. It was only then that the cognitive dissonance made me begin to change my behavior. Cognitive dissonance theory explains the contradictions we have with our behaviors and beliefs but it can also be used to get us to have positive behaviors.
Cognitive dissonance theory was created by Leon Festinger and to better explain his theory he used the topic of smoking. He showed how “the contradiction is so clear and uncomfortable that something has to give - either the use of cigarettes of the belief that smoking will [harm]” (Griffin et al., 2015, p.201). Cognitive dissonance in a nutshell is a contradiction that causes us stress. It is when we act in ways that go against what we believe and the strong presence we have on the matter the greater the stress we have. Festinger (2015) describe it the distressing mental state one feels when one finds themselves doing things that don’t fit with what we believe or what the public approves of (p.200). An extreme example of this is the high one gets from taking drugs but the disapproval the community might have for it. With dissonance creating a stressful mental state we naturally want to avoid it by either change our behaviors or our beliefs.
Cognitive dissonance can have either positive effects or negative ones on a person’s being. In the Glatz, Stattin, & Kerr study they considered the health and behavior of parents who find their youths drinking. Generally underage drinking is looked down upon in the community and even in the eyes of the law but “studies have shown that parents reduce control and support in response to youths' drinking” (Glatz, Stattin, & Kerr, 2012, p. 629). Glatz et al
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