How Cognitive Dissonance Affects Our Decisions

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Arveen Mayordomo Psych A3 Q2 Date The focus of this paper is to determine how cognitive dissonance affects our decisions, and how one can reduce the impacts of cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is a phenomenon which occurs when two cognitions are conflicting. In choosing one option over the other, people tend to question if they made the right decision. There are several strategies to resolve cognitive dissonance. Altering the conflicting cognition, altering the importance of the conflicting cognition and adding additional positive cognitions to outweigh the conflicting ones are ways to resolve cognitive dissonance. The results of these dissonance reduction strategies all typically result in a stronger attribution with the option that was chosen, and the unchosen alternative is more negatively attributed. Cognitive dissonance occurs when two cognitions are dissonant or inconsistent. This occurs when an attitude and a behaviour contradict each other. Discomfort is experienced when two or more opposing cognitions are held. In the scenario in which I picked the better looking date instead of the intelligent date, I can expect to feel cognitive dissonance. Initially I would think of the person who is best suited for the scenario that is presented. Considering that the scenario is presented as a family gathering, and assuming that there would be many family members and friends present in this gathering, picking the socially skilled date would be the optimal decision.
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