Cognitive Dissonance Theory

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Cognitive Dissonance Theory, developed by Leon Festinger, is concerned with the relationships among cognitions. In this context, cognition can be perceived as a piece of knowledge that may inscribe an element of an attitude, an emotion, a behavior, a value, and so on. For example, the knowledge that you like the color blue is cognition. People hold a multitude of cognitions simultaneously, and these cognitions form irrelevant, consonant or dissonant relationships with one another. Cognitive …

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…of those cognitions. This often involves rationalizing or reassurance, which reinforces an existing worldview. This is called "rationalizing" because the individual seeks out semi-logical conclusions using existing cognitions and newly created consistent cognitions in order to find a way to eliminate the inconsistent cognitions. Also, it may be help to alter the importance of the various cognitions to reduce the level of dissonance, since the magnitude of dissonance between cognitions must be weighed by importance.