Cognitive Dissonance And Its Effects On Society Essay

708 Words Oct 31st, 2016 3 Pages
Cognitive dissonance (Festinger, 1957) is an uncomfortable feeling created by a situation that involves conflicting behaviors or ideas. In the example given in class (Festinger, L., Riecken, H. W., & Schachter, S., 1956) aliens would come and rescue a group of “Seekers” from a flood on December 21,1954 at midnight. When the aliens did not come, this created cognitive dissonance. They believed that aliens were coming; aliens did not show up. There are five ways to bring back cognitive consistency: changing one of the ideas, adding to the idea, changing a behavior, trivialization or obtaining social support. In our example to bring back consistency the seekers used two. They were told that the aliens made a new plan. Since they were so “full of light” the earth would not be destroyed but they need to recruit more members. This changed the cognition that aliens would not destroy the earth because the seekers were so good and were sent to obtain social support. If more people believe then it must be true. Another example might be; your favorite band is coming to town, you paid a high price for concert tickets; the band is terrible live. This could cause cognitive dissonance. To bring back consistency you could make an excuse or trivialize how bad they were by complaining about the sound system in the arena. Another way is changing your behavior by deciding it was not the band that was terrible live but you are to old to stay out so late and enjoy the…

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