Cognitive Dissonance

  Vidyut Kanekar
Cognitive dissonance is the discomfort a person feels when their behavior does not align with their values or beliefs. It is a psychological phenomenon that can happen to anyone.

American psychologist  Leon Festinger first developed the concept in the 1950s. It can occur when a person holds two contradictory beliefs at the same time.

For example, a person who wishes to protect other people and who believes that the COVID-19 pandemic is real might wear a mask in public. This is consonance. If that same person believed the COVID-19 pandemic was real but refused to wear a mask, their values and behaviors would contradict each other.

It is not possible to observe dissonance, as it is something a person feels internally. As such, there is no set of external signs that can reliably indicate a person is experiencing cognitive dissonance.

Another workplace example is when a worker who deems their company’s practices unfair, but stays for financial reasons, can experience discomfort and burnout due to conflicting personal values and actions.

Festinger believed that all people are motivated to avoid or resolve cognitive dissonance due to the discomfort it causes. This can prompt people to adopt certain defense mechanisms when they have to confront it.

One of the defence mechanisms is avoiding or ignoring the dissonance. A person may avoid people or situations that remind them of it, discourage people from talking about it, or distract themselves from it with consuming tasks.

Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT) tries to to make the sufferer of cognitive dissonance acknowledge this dissonance and challenge it for relief and reduction of distress. The result is action not avoidance.

Read more about REBT

#Cognitive Dissonance #psychology #beliefs Your script for success

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