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Cognitive Dissonance

According to cognitive dissonance theory, when a person has in mind two or more pieces of knowledge that are related to each other but inconsistent with one another, he or she will experience psychological discomfort, which is referred to as dissonance. The theory and its research are concerned with how perception and cognition influence and are influenced by motivation and affect. This research has investigated the ways in which the experience of dissonance causes attitude and behavior changes. It is relevant to clinical treatments based on perspectives such as motivational interviewing.

Theoretically, the amount of dissonance that occurs in relation to a particular cognition is determined by this formula: Di/(Di + Ci). In this formula, D is the sum of cognitions dissonant (or inconsistent) with ...

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