Analysis Of Leon Festinger 's Cognitive Dissonance Theory Essay

850 Words Nov 8th, 2016 4 Pages
Leon Festinger’s (1957) cognitive dissonance theory holds that people seek to reduce inharmonious cognitions. Like dissonant notes in music, these inconsistent thoughts are very grating to the individual. Measures must be taken to alleviate the tension brought on by the inconsistency. The intensity of the dissonance depends on the ratio between dissonant cognitions. The desire to relieve that pressure will intensify as the gap becomes wider. Cognitive dissonance reduction methods include: eliminating one of the inconsistent cognitions, adding positive thoughts to one side, altering one’s behaviors or actions in relation to the dissonance, trivializing the scenario, and acquiring positive social support (Nail, 2016). Each of these steps are taken to create a more harmonious mental narrative.
An example of reducing dissonance through social support: your favorite band is coming to town and you paid a high price for concert tickets; however, the band is terrible live. This would create cognitive dissonance. You could reduce dissonance by finding friends that enjoy the band and love them live. Having a support system will make it easier to eliminate the dissonant cognitions and conform to the people around you.
Many studies over the years have been conducted on the theory of cognitive dissonance through use of deception. However, deception is only considered ethical if there is not a better alternative. In a paper presented by Dr. Nail et al. (March, 2010) at the…

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