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    Cognitive Dissonance

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    Prepare an analysis of chapter 5 in the Nier (2010) text. As a part of your analysis, address the following items:
    Briefly summarize both arguments. Refer to the theories/concepts by their names, not by the meaningless terms "yes" and "no," "pro" and "con," or "Issue 5," etc.
    Define consonant and dissonant cognitions.
    Analyze the influence that consonant and dissonant cognitions have on attitudes and behavior.
    Analyze the concept of persuasion as it relates to these concepts

    Taking Sides. Clashing Views in Social Psychology, Third Edition. Chapter 5: Does Cognitive Dissonance Explain Why Behavior Can Change Attitudes? by Jason A. Nier

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    First of all, one prevalent argument from the social psychologist theory strongly suggests that cognitive dissonance offers a plausible explanation to explain when people act inconsistently from their true or typical attitudes. It focuses on the premise that we strive to exhibit consistency in our attitudes and behaviors. This view is further supported by experimental research.
    Research further summarizes cognitive dissonance theory:

    DeBono, K. G. (2014). Cognitive dissonance. Salem Press Encyclopedia Of Health.

    The author reveals how it was developed by social psychologist Leon Festinger and "suggests that there is a basic human tendency to strive for consistency between and among cognitions. Cognitions are defined as what people know about their attitudes and behaviors. An attitude is defined as one's positive or negative evaluations of a person, place, or thing." This theory further states that if an inconsistency occurs"—for example, if an individual does something that is discrepant with his or her attitudes—cognitive dissonance is said to occur. Dissonance is an uncomfortable state of physiological and psychological tension. It is so uncomfortable, in fact, that when individuals are in such a state, they become motivated to rid themselves of the feeling. This can be done by restoring consistency to the cognitions in some way."

    Another source explicates the theory's main implications:

    Kretchmar, J. (2015). Cognitive Dissonance Theory. Research Starters: Education (Online Edition).

    The author cites how this theory highlights how "the existence of dissonance, being psychologically uncomfortable, will motivate the person to try to reduce the dissonance and achieve consonance; and when dissonance is present, in addition to trying to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situations and information which would likely increase the dissonance," according to Festinger.

    Another study emphasizes how the role of responsibility is also embedded into this theory:


    Solution Summary

    Cognitive Dissonance is briefly assessed using notes and APA reference summations to explain key concepts.