Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Cognitive Dissonance, 2

In order to resolve the discomfort of cognitive dissonance, the individual may  alter one of the attitudes and beliefs or a behavior, hoping to find homeostasis or balance. For example, Mr. A smokes four packs a day and knows that smoking four packs a day can contribute to lung cancer. His uncle died of the disease. Mr. A does not want to discontinue the behavior of smoking. To lower the discomfort, he rationalizes that not every person who smokes four packs a day gets lung cancer. Yes, his uncle did, but his grandfather did not. Therefore this reduces Mr. A’s discomfort and he continues to smoke four packs a day. Mrs. B knows that drinking 3 sodas a day tends increase one’s weight. Mrs. B does not want to give up sodas. To lower the discomfort from cognitive dissonance, Mrs. B decided to spend ten extra minutes walking a couple of times a week. Sometimes the discomfort is lowered by selecting a token concession rather than addressing the real underlying behavior, which may not work long term, however.

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