Glossary Term: Cognitive Dissonance


In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the perception of contradictory information, and the mental toll of it. It is triggered by the person’s belief clashing with new information perceived. According to the theory, people do all in their power to change them until they become consistent, trying to find a way to resolve the contradiction to reduce their discomfort.

What is an example of cognitive dissonance?

Smoking: Smokers use justification beliefs (e.g. “Smoking calms me down when I am stressed or upset.”) to reduce their cognitive dissonance about smoking tobacco and the negative consequences of smoking it.

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