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Effort Justification

Definition

Effort justification is the idea that when people make sacrifices to pursue a goal, the effort is often rationalized by elevating the attractiveness of the goal. In other words, people sometimes come to love what they suffer to achieve. The effort justification hypothesis is derived from cognitive dissonance, one of the best-known theories in social psychology. Dissonance theory emphasizes how inconsistencies among important cognitions can be motivating, often by bringing one's attitudes in line with one's behavior. It has been broadly applied. With effort justification, the potentially dissonance-arousing question is whether the sacrifices one is making to achieve a goal are worth it.

The definition of effort used by dissonance theorists has been broad. It includes not only the literal expenditure of physical and mental energy ...

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