A part of that self awareness that may help in dealing with cognitive dissonance is to examine the commitments and decisions we make in our lives. If the resolution of cognitive dissonance means that we move forward with a commitment and spring into action, making us feel better, maybe the dissonance was trying to tell us something. Maybe the decision or commitment wasn’t as right for us as we initially thought, even if it means overcoming our “no second-guessing” bias and making a different decision. Admitting it, apologizing if need be, and moving forward can save us a lot of time, mental energy and hurt feelings. Self-awareness seems to be a key to understanding how and when cognitive dissonance may play a role in your life.

In addition to these emotional experiences, cognitive dissonance can also inspire a change in your behavior or beliefs. Some of these changes can be positive, such as shifting problematic beliefs or harmful habits. Cognitive dissonance is a theory in social psychology first proposed by Leon Festinger. According to this theory, cognitive dissonance describes the discomfort experienced when two cognitions are incompatible with each other. The anxiety caused by cognitive dissonance can be alleviated in several ways.

Potential Pitfalls of Cognitive Dissonance

In better understanding cognitive dissonance and the role it plays in most of our lives, we can be on the lookout for it and its sometimes-negative effects. A person who cares about their health might be disturbed to learn that sitting for long periods during the day is linked to a shortened lifespan. Since they work all day in an office and spend a great deal of time sitting, it is difficult to change their behavior. Cognitive dissonance can even influence how people feel about and view themselves, leading to negative feelings of self-esteem and self-worth. Sometimes you might find yourself engaging in behaviors that are opposed to your own beliefs due to external expectations at work, school, or in a social situation. This might involve going along with something due to peer pressure or doing something at work to avoid getting fired.

Can cognitive dissonance be treated

“It depends on the immediacy of the situation and whether or not there’s any way to resolve it, but sometimes, new information can lead to action,” says Dr. Prewitt. It can also further strain your relationships with others, especially if you’re having cognitive dissonance related to what someone else is saying or doing. “You’re more likely to feel guilty if you’re doing something that goes against your values,” notes Dr. Prewitt. Say you’re a student looking to choose between two different universities you’d like to attend. After being accepted to each, you’re asked to freely rate the universities after considering each college’s pros and cons. You make your decision and are asked to rate the two universities once again.

– Reward systems lead to POS

There are a variety of ways people are thought to resolve the sense of dissonance when cognitions don’t seem to fit together. They may include denying or compartmentalizing unwelcome thoughts, seeking to explain away a thought that doesn’t https://ecosoberhouse.com/ comport with others, or changing what one believes or one’s behavior. When someone tells a lie and feels uncomfortable about it because he fundamentally sees himself as an honest person, he may be experiencing cognitive dissonance.

Since cognitive dissonance often naturally occurs after a decision such as a purchase, this is what questionnaires have focused on. We may perceive dissonance when we engage in a new behavior (e.g., when we decline an invitation to an event we usually attend in order to protect our leisure time). While this can feel uncomfortable at first, it’s helpful to cognitive dissonance treatment reflect on the reasons behind our behavior. This can be a difficult and uncomfortable process and involves getting additional information. The concept of cognitive dissonance is nicely explained in this YouTube video by social psychologist Andy Luttrell. Dissonance can also be experienced vicariously through people of a social group that we identify with.

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