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Cognitive Dissonance Theory. Leon Festinger 1957. 1. Overview of Theory. Cognitive elements - defined bits of knowledge or opinions or beliefs Basic Relations Consonant Dissonant Irrelevant. Assumptions. Psychological tension to reduce dissonance

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cognitive dissonance theory

Cognitive Dissonance Theory

Leon Festinger 1957

1 overview of theory
1. Overview of Theory
  • Cognitive elements - defined bits of knowledge or opinions or beliefs
  • Basic Relations
    • Consonant
    • Dissonant
    • Irrelevant
assumptions
Assumptions
  • Psychological tension to reduce dissonance
  • We not only reduce it, we avoid situations that increase it
  • Dissonance increases when alternatives contain attractive features
  • Increased dissonance, increased pressure
  • Pressure = importance & # of elements
2 reducing dissonance
2. Reducing Dissonance
  • Change one of the elements
  • Seek evidence to discredit
  • Change importance of cognitiones
  • Seek confirmatory evidence
3 dissonance beliefs future
3. Dissonance & Beliefs(future)

Conditions for dissonance arousal

  • Firm conviction
  • Public commitment
  • Clear confirmation/disconfirmation of conviction
  • Unequivocal disconfirmation
  • Social support available
4 dissonance decisions
4. Dissonance & Decisions
  • Degree of dissonance
    • Important to person
    • Mix of attractive & unattractive features
    • Dissimilar attributes but similar desirability
  • Reducing Dissonance
    • Change Decision
    • Increase attractiveness of chosen
    • Decrease attractiveness of unchosen
    • Seek confirming information
    • View consequences as the same
5 insufficient justification
5. Insufficient Justification
  • Definition - a cognition following from another that can not be justified
  • Boring task example
  • Creates powerful dissonance
6 when is dissonance aroused
6. When is dissonance aroused?
  • Reasons for not being dissonant
    • Blame environment
    • Blame others
  • Dissonance aroused
    • “I willing caused it”
    • “It was a significant decision”
    • ROTC example
7 self concept
7. Self Concept
  • How do you explain self-fulfilling prophecy?
  • We have a vested interest in failure
8 criticisms
8. Criticisms
  • Prediction Problems - How will dissonance be reduced?
  • Can the theory be proven or disproven? (Falsifiability)
  • Quantifiable?