What Is Cognitive Dissonance? Cleveland Clinic

Women who are sensitive to their partners’ feelings and needs are more likely to return than those who are not. For someone with addiction issues, when dissonance comes into play, it greatly compromises their ability to make rational decisions. One could argue that drinking and taking drugs is ultimately someone’s choice. Although, when something they once believed turns out too good to be true, it conflicts with their pre-existing beliefs about their decision-making abilities. However, there are fortunate individuals who see how their substance abuse is causing not only destruction in their lives but also with those who love them. They hold onto the belief that they will see better days and that recovery is needed to change their life.

With dissonance that results from wanting something we can’t have, there are things we would like to have that we cannot for any number of reasons. When the desired “something” is very important, we may have dissonant cognitions that make us tense and unhappy. Cognitive dissonance in a  way is mental illness within itself, and without treatment, the chances of relapse are high, and most importantly, it exacerbates an individual’s condition and hinders their chances of a successful recovery.

What Is Transpersonal Psychology? 9 Examples and Theories

The subjects were directed to persuade the confederate that the tedious tasks were interesting and engaging. Subjects of one group were paid twenty dollars ($20) for their participation. The third group, the control group, was not asked to speak with the confederate.

cognitive dissonance treatment

If you’re interested in psychology and human behavior, you’ve probably heard the phrase cognitive dissonance. It’s the term coined by psychologist Leon Festinger in 1954 to describe “the feeling of psychological discomfort produced by the https://g-markets.net/sober-living/how-to-cure-boredom-7-ways-to-stop-being-bored/ combined presence of two thoughts that do not follow from one another. Festinger proposed that the greater the discomfort, the greater the desire to reduce the dissonance of the two cognitive elements” (Harmon-Jones & Mills, 1999).

What does cognitive dissonance feel like?

That is, we claim, in accordance with Weick’s (1968) argument, that the social context in which dissonance is evoked (e.g., presence of others vs. being alone) might dictate how people reduce dissonance. Finally, in our dissonance reduction model we assume (based on the process model of emotional regulation) that any specific reduction strategy will depend on where in the regulation process the situation is located–early or late. However, once the individual is stuck in the situation (situations resembling induced compliance, induced hypocrisy, or effort justification) avoidance is no longer available, and distraction might be too difficult Art Therapy for Drug & Alcohol Addiction Recovery to employ. Since these strategies imply that the individual managed to somehow resolve the situation, a full-blown negative emotion is unlikely to have evolved (or is at least unlikely to still be present). As for restructuring strategies, the individual will likely be at peace and experience a feeling of content and relaxation after employing strategies that manage to resolve dissonance without having to fundamentally change their cognitive structure. If the individual’s experience is dominated by fear and anxiety (also high-arousal negative emotions), avoidance, escape, or distraction are likely dissonance-reduction strategies.

If a voluntary experience that has cost a lot of effort turns out badly, the dissonance is reduced by redefining the experience as interesting. Being paid only $1 is not sufficient incentive for lying and so those who were paid $1 experienced dissonance. They could only overcome that dissonance by coming to believe that the tasks really were interesting and enjoyable.


Brehm (1956) was the first to investigate the relationship between dissonance and decision-making. The rub is that making a decision cuts off the possibility that you can enjoy the advantages of the unchosen alternative, yet it assures you that you must accept the disadvantages of the chosen alternative. If you took the job you would miss your loved ones; if you turned the job down, you would pine for the beautiful streams, mountains, and valleys. When the participants were asked to evaluate the experiment, the participants who were paid only $1 rated the tedious task as more fun and enjoyable than the participants who were paid $20 to lie. We benefit, though, from approaching these inconsistencies with curiosity and grace, even when we want to change them. It’s giving you the information you need to be at peace with your decisions and to understand why you made them.

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