Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cognitive Dissonance

I read this article three times and like most of the class I thought it was hard to follow and confusing. Although I was confused while reading this article I did understand Festinger’s definition of Cognitive Dissonance. Festinger states that cognitive dissonance refers to a relation between cognitions which exist simultaneously for a person. An example Festinger used in the article to describe cognitive dissonance is a person knows something about himself and something about the world in which he lives. Another example that he gives is a man knows he is very intelligent but repeated fails. From these examples I understand that cognitive dissonance means people can have two cognitions that do not fit together.

The motivating aspect of cognitive dissonance is to reduce the dissonance. Festinger states that reducing dissonance is rewarding the same way one eats when they are hungry is rewarding. By not reducing dissonance this may cause stress, anxiety, fear or maybe even frustration. If two cognitions are dissonant then there may be some type of tendency to change the cognitions to fit together. As we talked about in class today there were many examples of cognitive dissonance that we deal with everyday and we have to find what motivates us change our cognitions to fit or deal with the stress and anxiety that results from cognitive dissonance.

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