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    Cognitive Dissonance, Self-Perception Theories: a Discussion

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    Good morning:
    I need help in explaining in my own words Festinger and Carlsmith's cognitive dissonance theory and Bern's self-perception theory.
    Next, I need to locate a news article that illustrates each of the theories and summarize the article as it relates to the theory. Finally, contrast the differences between these two theories, and select the theory that you believe is stronger.

    Need at least three research or theoretical articles published in peer-reviewed journals published in the past seven years.

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com March 5, 2021, 1:47 am ad1c9bdddf
    https://brainmass.com/psychology/social-theories/cognitive-dissonance-self-perception-theories-discussion-620790

    Solution Preview

    Theories of Cognition, Perception and Self

    There are two primary theories utilized in psychology as classics to explore the area of cognition, perception and self. One of them of course is Daryl Bem's Self-perception theory (SPT) and the other is Festinger and Carlsmith's cognitive dissonance theory (CDT). Before going further with these 2 theories, let us first define them. According to Gale (2008), "the theory claims that people come to know their own attitudes, beliefs, and other internal states by inferring them from their own behaviour and the circumstances under which they occur...the theory claims that when internal cues are weak, the individual is in the same position as an outside observer who must rely upon the external cues of their behaviour to infer their own inner characteristics." In other words, we look to how we behave to infer or construct ideas about ourselves. If we find ourselves liking a sci-fi film for example, we might conclude that we are 'sci-fi' people. This might not necessarily be the case but if our ideas of what we are other than being a sci-fi fan are not as strong or clear as one we have felt when we watched the latest 'star Wars' movie for example, then the idea sticks and the label is something that we perceive to fit, to be right because the cues are not there to counter it. Meanwhile according to McLeod (2008), the work of Festinger and Carlsmith on CDT, "starts from the idea that we seek consistency in our beliefs and attitudes in any situation where two cognitions are inconsistent." Additionally, that because we seek to achieve consistency in what we believe, there is the creation of a situation within us wherein (McLeod, 2008), "a powerful motive to maintain cognitive consistency can give rise to irrational and sometimes maladaptive behaviour...we hold many cognitions about the world and ourselves; when they clash, a discrepancy is evoked, resulting in a state of tension known as cognitive dissonance. As the experience of dissonance is unpleasant, we are motivated to reduce or eliminate it, and achieve consonance." In a way, it is a kind of social comparison. We compare ourselves to others, but most essentially, our ideas and opinions with the ideas and opinions of others. When we see ourselves fall by the wayside, that is, we do not fit the bill of what we see ourselves as, or how we feel are opinions are, then we seek to justify it to find a way to make it fit, because doing so otherwise is not acceptable to our ideas of the self.

    The Theories and News Stories

    An example in the news of CDT made observable in practice is a story written by Chester (2016) for Vice entitled, "Criminals Explain How They Justified Their ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the theories of cognitive-dissonance and self-perception. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.

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