cognitive dissonance treatment

The smoker may focus on more accommodating belief (e.g., “smoking cannot be very dangerous”). By reducing the risk of smoking, one will have less difficulty in cognitive dissonance and addiction smoking and not feel bad about it. While smokers are not craving, the shift in balance between benefit and negative consequences will motivate smokers to quit.

cognitive dissonance treatment

Action–motivation model

It can also be detrimental by rationalizing poor or unhealthy behavior. Small decisions, for example, will cause less discomfort than major decisions. Buying the wrong toothpaste is less uncomfortable than buying the wrong car. Imagine moving forward with a work project launch because a manager instructed you to meet a deadline. However, your core beliefs contradict these instructions because you feel the project needs more testing to be safe or effective.

Consumer behavior

cognitive dissonance treatment

Doing some soul searching to determine the areas of your life where contradiction exists can shed light on areas you may need to work on. Maybe you always expect your friends to be prompt when you have dinner plans, but you’re usually 10 minutes late yourself. Adjusting your behavior or your expectations of your friends might help lessen conflict down the line. You can use that self-awareness to guide your future actions and decisions.

Challenging Your Beliefs

Mitigating cognitive dissonance can be achieved by diminishing the significance of the conflicting belief in the decision-making process. By reducing its weight, the discomfort stemming from the dissonance is lessened. Every decision you make presents an opportunity for cognitive dissonance. When facing a decision between two similar options, for example, you feel dissonance because both are equally appealing. After you’ve made your selection, your mind seeks to reinforce your decision as the right one, to reduce feelings of discomfort.

  • For example, in the realm of pet products, brands might emphasize the benefits of natural ingredients and enhanced pet health.
  • It’s giving you the information you need to be at peace with your decisions and to understand why you made them.
  • You try to stuff those unpleasant feelings down but they keep popping up.
  • Importantly, the hostile attitudes may persist even after the violence itself declines (Acharya, Blackwell, and Sen, 2015).
  • Psychologist Leon Festinger first described the theory of cognitive dissonance in 1957.

Many consumers, upon the presentation of new information, feel guilty about drinking their favorite diet fizzy drinks. In fact, psychologists who study cultural psychology have found that many phenomena that were once assumed to be universal may actually be unique to Western countries. For example, since individuals typically want to see themselves as ethical people, acting unethically would produce higher levels of dissonance. The average person probably wouldn’t fault you for telling the lie—$500 is a lot of money and for most people would probably be enough to justify a relatively inconsequential lie.

Relations among cognitions

This approach works by encouraging people to say things or role-play behaviors that contradict their beliefs about food and body image. The internal discomfort and tension of cognitive dissonance could contribute to stress or unhappiness. People who experience dissonance but have no way to resolve it may also feel powerless or guilty. Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when a person holds two contradictory beliefs at the same time. Cognitive dissonance can often have a powerful influence on our behaviors and actions.

And it can be troubling and mentally exhausting to deal with, Curry says. “All of us — and I mean all of us — have something we have dissonant beliefs and behaviors about,” says Alauna Curry, MD, a trauma psychiatrist based in Houston. Avoiding, delegitimizing, and limiting the impact of cognitive dissonance may result in a person not acknowledging their behavior and thus not taking steps to resolve the dissonance. The effects may relate to the discomfort of the dissonance itself or the defense mechanisms a person adopts to deal with it. Because it is something a person feels internally, it is not possible to physically observe dissonance.

  • Harness this profound understanding of decision-making to elevate your results.
  • Businesses must maintain consistent brand messaging and ensure their products or services align with the values and expectations they’ve cultivated among their customer base.
  • The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people are averse to inconsistencies within their own minds.
  • Is it a perception (as “cognitive” suggests), a feeling, or a feeling about a perception?

By being assertive about your values, you can minimize continued conflict from the start but also empower yourself to hold that space for your needs. Learn the benefits of humanistic psychology, a therapy approach emphasizing individuality and self-growth. We evaluated different online therapy platforms to find the most inclusive and affirmative options for LGBTQ+ individuals. And sometimes reducing the dissonance can be as easy as reframing your thinking.

cognitive dissonance treatment