The Cognitive Dissonance Theory

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The roaring years of the 1950s did not only bring about racial segregation and international liberation. For the world of the communication researchers, it also brought about the birth of one of the most notable behavioral theories known to date — the Cognitive Dissonance Theory.
As mentioned by Bryant & Smith in their Historical Overview of Research in Communication Science (2010, p. 13), majority of the theories and research that supported the communication discipline was heavily borrowed and translated from other fields of study. Such is the case of Leon Festinger, a Russian-Jewish immigrant from Stanford who specialized in social psychology. Through a published work, he introduced communication scholars to the relationship of behavior, attitude, and beliefs through his Theory of Cognitive Dissonance.
First proposed in the year 1957, Festinger argued that a human being’s
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This, I believe, is its most important contribution. The theory, although initially a product of social psychology, has become a flexible platform for all forms of communication research. It can be applied to a myriad of communication sciences, ranging from political, to interpersonal, and even to the effectiveness of journalism and advertising. This theory provides scholars with plausible hypotheses and rationales regarding various communication phenomena, aiding in the prediction and explanation of behaviors. This being said, the steady pace, movement and the continuous use of the theory is proof that belief in the theory of cognitive dissonance is alive and well today. In fact, with the rise of the Millennials and the rapid and exponential use of social media, cognitive dissonance, as well as the behaviors that stem from it, will become more and more rampant as freedom of speech, and the bias that accompanies it, has become a
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