Monday, April 1, 2019

Cognitive Dissonance, 6

A third way that individuals attempt to resolve cognitive dissonance is to alter their belief or attitude. Let’s say the individual enjoys recreational drugs, often in combination with some form of alcoholic beverage. The person knows the research that taking alcohol and other drugs together can increase one’s risk for overdose or drug interactions, either one of which can lead to death. The individual does not want to eliminate either behavior nor does he have information that would provide a sufficient rationalization for continuing the lifestyle. Finally the person rationalizes that a potentially shorter lifespan is a more desirable choice than altering either behavior, even if doing so would potentially result in a longer life. By altering his or her belief, the person decreases the weight or importance of the cognitive dissonance (that mixing drugs and alcohol is a bad idea). This reduces the discomfort to a manageable level. These attempts may or may not work. Cognitive dissonance theory only states that people who are experiencing discomfort from cognitive dissonance, typically will take some type of action to reduce the discomfort and/or the extent of their dissonance.

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