Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cognitive Dissonance Article

Throughout my many psych courses I have heard congnitive dissonance mention, but never really understood it until reading this article. The ordinary meaning of dissonance is "I want to give it." Some of synonyms for dissonance include; harshe, jarring, inconsistent, and disagreeing.

"Cognitive dissonance refers to this kind of relation between cognitions which exists simltaneously for a person. " The example the author used to explain this was "If a person knows two things, something about himself and something about the world, which somehow do not fit together, this would represent cognitive dissonance. " A person might know he is a very intelligent, highly capable person. Now, imagine that he meets repeated failure. "These two cognitions would be dissont- they do not fit together."

Cognitive dissonance also resembles other need states. This relates to the motivating aspects of cognitive dissonance. In the article it states that cognitive dissonace is motivating in the same way that hunger is. "Cognitive dissonance will give rise to activity oriented toward reducing or eliminating the dissonance. Successful reduction of dissonance is rewarding in the same sense that eating when one is hungry is rewarding." I felt that when stated this way it is much easier to understand cognitive dissonanxe and how it resembles other need states.

Breanne Bryson

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