An introduction to the importance of cognitive dissonance in making human decisions

Moreover, it proposes that human and perhaps other animal brains have evolved to do so to prevent the overfitting of their predictive cognitive models to local and ephemeral and thus non-generalizable conditions.

A much greater dissonance is involved, for example, if a student does not study for a very important examination, knowing that his present fund of information is probably inadequate for the examination.

Indeed, one of the important consequences of the theory of dissonance is that it will help us understand some circumstances where the cognitive elements do not correspond with reality.

Thus, understanding the theory of cognitive dissonance can have a positive impact in your life. A person may think Negroes are just as good as whites but would not want any living in his neighborhood; or someone may think little children should be quiet and unobtrusive and yet may be quite proud when his child aggressively captures the attention of his adult guests.

Just as commonly, however, these motivational conflicts are overlooked or actively avoided in behavioral decision making. If beliefs are moved, then the dissonance appears during decision-making, forcing us to take actions we would not have taken before.

They will be discussed in that order. The greater the personal value of the elements, the greater the magnitude of the dissonance in the relation. The operational problem would be to independently identify situations and persons where this kind of a priori self-protective behavior occurs.

A Current PerspectiveElliot Aronson linked cognitive dissonance to the self-concept: This belief is not only that they should be good but that they are good. The predictive dissonance account proposes that the motivation for cognitive dissonance reduction is related to an organism's active drive for reducing prediction error.

It is often impossible to decide this without reference to other cognitions of the person involved. If he unavoidably came in contact with the latter type of material, his reading would be critical indeed.

The Role of Cognitive Dissonance in Decision Making

Attitude change was computed by subtracting initial from final ratings for each item; a positive score indicates an increase in liking during the study.

They may be inconsistent or contradictory, culture or group standards may dictate that they do not fit, and so on. Finally, many of the studies supporting the theory of cognitive dissonance have low ecological validity. Festinger theorized that humans experience negative emotions when performing behaviors that are contrary to their attitudes.

Cognitive dissonance

People invested in a given perspective shall—when confronted with disconfirming evidence—expend great effort to justify retaining the challenged perspective. Two cognitions or actions consistent with each other e. Before moving on, it is worth while to emphasize again that the presence of pressures to reduce dissonance, or even activity directed toward such reduction, does not guarantee that the dissonance will be reduced.

Attitude change for each type of item selected, rejected, no choice was assessed with repeated measures t-tests. After being induced to cheat in an academic examination, students judged cheating less harshly.

For example, a person might have a strong reaction of fear which he can do nothing about. At a hippodrome, bettors have more confidence after betting on horses they chose just before the post-time because this confidence prevents a change of heart; the bettors felt post-decision cognitive dissonance.

The alternative is to feel a great deal of dissonance. After reading the reports about the various products, individuals rated the products again. Findings Participants in the high-dissonance condition spread apart the alternatives significantly more than did the participants in the other two conditions.

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When the subject-participants were asked:. Cognitive Dissonance How do human beings make decisions? What triggers a person to take action at any given point? These are all questions that I will attempt to answer with my theoretical research into Leon Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance, as well as many of the other related theories.

Cognitive dissonance is also important in preserving our self-concept. As long as we keep rationalising away our bad choices, we can still believe ourselves to be intelligent, rational human beings with excellent decision making skills. Basically, decision-making and change are fueled by motivation to reduce dissonance through changing behaviors, the environment, knowledge, or perspective to those as to rationalize the action or cognition (p).

The magnitude or importance of a decision also impacts the dissonance and consonance. Sep 05,  · The Role of Cognitive Dissonance in Decision Making Introduction When making decisions humans commonly fall victim to errors in logic and reasoning.

Since the inception of the study of the mind, psychologists have endeavored to isolate. Cognitive dissonance plays a role in many value judgments, decisions and evaluations. Becoming aware of how conflicting beliefs impact the decision-making process is a great way to improve your ability to make faster and more accurate choices.

In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or discomfort is triggered by a situation in which a belief of a person clashes with new evidence perceived by that person.

An introduction to the importance of cognitive dissonance in making human decisions
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The neural basis of rationalization: cognitive dissonance reduction during decision-making