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  • Posted By: pangfamily
  • Date Posted: 10/19/2010
  • Category: Psychology
  • Words: 872
  • Pages: 4
  • Views: 786
  • Rank: 763

Cognitive Dissonance

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Cognitive Dissonance

When people are personally involved with an issue, much like the use of tobacco, they are much more attentive to the issue (Petty & Cacioppo, 1981, p. 847). For example, on 3/31/96 I told my three friends that I was concerned about how much they had been smoking recently. On the average they are smoking 20 cigarettes a day. One of the girls immediately retaliated with the statement that" her grandmother smoked for nearly all of her life and she is in good health." In this particular instance we can see the basicpremise of the consistency theories at work. The girl who said this statement likes me. She also enjoys smoking. When I made the statement that I was concerned with the levels of tobacco consumption she disregarded my opinion by using past experiences as evidence to back her point. She is a friend so I assume she somewhat values my opinion, but she upgraded her opinion of smoking and downgraded my opinion. She experienced some form of dissonance when I stated my opinion. She reduced her dissonance and thus was in balance. This is where Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance attempts to rationalize her behavior. The other consistency theories do not recognize the degree to which the dissonance exist. If you were to not use Festinger's model, most likely you would have assumed that my opinion would have changed her attitude and actions. After all, I did have a contradictory opinion that did not follow hers, and dissonance was felt. That's what is missing from the balance theory and the congruency theory: "latitudes of attitude". This theory, unlike many others, must factor in the human psyche as a variable. The persuasion process did not occur in this case because my friends attitude towards not smoking was so anti-quitting, ...

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