Cognitive Dissonance Theory

In 1957, Leon Festinger proposed that cognitive dissonance is a common psychological phenomenon that many individuals experience on a daily basis. For example, cognitive dissonance occurs for smokers who are trying to quit when they light up another cigarette. It also occurs for politicians who propose legislation to restrict certain forms of behavior, only to be caught later engaging in the behaviors they tried to restrict. In each of these examples, at least one of the cognitive elements (e.g., behavior) is inconsistent with one ...

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