cognitive dissonance

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cognitive dissonance

[¦käg·nəd·iv ′dīs·ən·əns]
(psychology)
Psychological conflict that results from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously.

cognitive dissonance

the experience of competing, opposing or contradictory thoughts, attitudes or actions leading to a feeling of tension and the need to achieve consonance. The term was introduced by Festinger (1957). In his definition dissonant cognitions exist when Belief A implies the negation of Belief B. For example, ‘Smoking causes lung cancer’ is dissonant with ‘I smoke’. The dissonance can be reduced in a variety of ways, either by adjusting Belief A or Belief B. Belief A could be adjusted by disregarding medical reports that confirm the belief and by paying particular attention to sceptical reports. Belief B can be adjusted by smoking less, or smoking tobacco of a low carcinogenic type.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to cognitive consistency theory, people seek consistency between attitudes and cognitions (Osgood and Tannenbaum 1955; Festinger 1957; Abelson, Aronson, McGru ire, Newcomb, Rosenberg and Tannenbaum 1968; Yen et al.
Cognitive consistency (a kind of peace of mind) can therefore be dangerous, since when confronted with contradictory information, the brain's defence mechanisms can filter out unwanted information and alter its memory of such decisions.
For the purpose of summarizing cognitive consistency theory cognitions can be defined as; interest attachment attitude, contact emotion, disparate belief values or a mixture of these.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, farthest from rationality, Hybel places cognitive consistency theory where decision-makers, while trying to understand and solve problems, are also attempting to ensure that their beliefs and values remain mutually consistent.
If appeals to cognitive consistency and unity don't work, and if the belief in an immortal soul has an important function in someone's cognitive economy, then faith may well continue unperturbed.
Cognitive consistency equilibrium involves encoding information and making it fit into one's schemata.
This internal battle between cognitive consistency and cognitive dissonance could have polar effects-destructive as well as constructive.

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