On Cognitive Dissonance

25 Oct

I came across this term recently and was instantly hooked onto explore more information on this field of Psychology. Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation. As you can see, this is something that we experience in our day to day life. I will let you read up more on the topic by googling. But, following are some interesting examples/findings that I thought was worth sharing…

(i) When trying to join a group, the harder they make the barriers to entry, the more you value your membership. To resolve the dissonance between the hoops you were forced to jump through, and the reality of what turns out to be a pretty average club, we convince ourselves the club is, in fact, fantastic.

(ii) People will interpret the same information in radically different ways to support their own views of the world. When deciding our view on a contentious point, we conveniently forget what jars with our own theory and remember everything that fits.

(iii) People quickly adjust their values to fit their behaviour, even when it is clearly immoral. Those stealing from their employer will claim that “Everyone does it” so they would be losing out if they didn’t, or alternatively that “I’m underpaid so I deserve a little extra on the side.”Once you start to think about it, the list of situations in which people resolve cognitive dissonance through rationalisations becomes ever longer and longer.


Posted by on October 25, 2007 in From AM-KICKING blog, Informative


3 responses to “On Cognitive Dissonance

  1. BrainWaves

    October 26, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    It is very interesting concept. We even change our point-of-view stands seamlessly. I noticed this in others and wondered why can’t they see the transition, till I figured out I myself do that in different instances.

    “Everyone is doing it and that is why Ia m doing it” is more of guilt covering behavior rather than CD. (
    Cognitive “Dissonnace” – Now that is a classical unnecessary word 🙂 )

  2. bumblebee

    October 28, 2007 at 1:22 am

    Interesting indeed.

  3. Mad Max

    October 31, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    @ Mindframes: interesting topic…set me thinking…a new blog based on this is on the way…hehehe


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