Dissonance In Luis Poza's 'Arguing On The Internet'

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Cognitive dissonance can explain how effective an argument may be if the argument largely appeals to the beliefs of the people receiving the information. The theory of cognitive dissonance being that when a person’s perceptions or actions begin to conflict with their beliefs, they will experience an aversive intrapersonal state of tension known as cognitive dissonance, which is motivational in nature as individuals will employ dissonance-reduction techniques in order to restore cognitive consistency. The three most common of these techniques being: changing beliefs, changing actions, or changing the perception of the action (Nolan & Nail, 2014). An argument will have the greatest chance of being effective if it either does not create this feeling of cognitive dissonance in the person or group being persuaded, or creates just enough that the individual is able to justify the use of a dissonance reduction technique in order to accept it and restore cognitive consistency.
In Luis Poza’s article, “Arguing on the Internet”, as well as in a separate piece written by Deborah Tannen entitled, “For Arguments Sake: Why Do We Feel Compelled to Fight about Everything?”, the proposal is made that an argumentative culture is being heavily promoted in our current media. That the aggression of a two sided heated debate is the main takeaway
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Those that may not be totally convinced of the message may ease into adapting it because of the need to fit into a social group or by bridging the gap between their perceptions and beliefs with a dissonance reduction technique. The most effective argument would be prepared with the attitudes and behaviors of the audience taken into consideration and would not challenge their beliefs to the point of causing such a serious cognitive dissonance that it would not be subscribed

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