Discrepant Behavior that Contradicts an Attitude
What is cognitive dissonance?
lack of harmony among musical notes.
"an unusual degree of dissonance for such choral styles"
a tension or clash resulting from the combination of two disharmonious or unsuitable elements.
"dissonance between campaign rhetoric and personal behavior"
Examples of cognitive dissonance:
- Smoking cigarettes while knowing how detrimental the act is to one's health
- Spreading malicious gossip about a good friend
- Telling a lie while understanding that lying is wrong
- Eating excessively while trying to lose weight
Increased Consonant Elements
The human mind is not content with cognitive dissonance, and it will work to balance the disharmony. Increased consonant elements are used to do just that.
Examples of increased consonant elements:
- Using reasoning that smoking is ok because many people have been smoking for years and years and are still healthy
- Spreading malicious gossip about a good friend is ok, just this once, because you have defended the friend on numerous occasions
- Telling a lie is ok because you were bribed to do so, with money!
- Blowing a diet is ok, just this once, because additional exercise (or restriction) will burn up the additional calories
In short, to eliminate dissonance, one might alter their beliefs to better fit their behavior.
Watch the video below for an even further understanding of cognitive dissonance.
"According to Festinger, cognitive dissonance creates unpleasant psychological tension, which motivates us to try to resolve the dissonance in some way."
Personal Cognitive Dissonance
Many thanks to PSY111, I can now recognize these turmoils and behaviors as cognitive dissonance!