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For example, behaving in ways that are not aligned with your personal values may result in intense feelings of discomfort. Your behavior contradicts not just the beliefs you have about the world, but also the beliefs that you have about yourself. By bringing attention to the inconsistencies in our minds, cognitive dissonance may present an opportunity for growth. People who feel it could realize, for example, that they need to update their beliefs to reflect the truth, or change their behavior to better match the person they want to be. There are 3 ways to reduce cognitive dissonance–change your beliefs, change your behavior or rationalize your feelings and behaviors.

It’s an uncomfortable feeling to hold diametrically opposed beliefs. – Psychology Today

It’s an uncomfortable feeling to hold diametrically opposed beliefs..

Posted: Thu, 11 Jan 2024 08:00:00 GMT [source]

When the participants were asked to evaluate the experiment, the participants who were paid only $1 rated the tedious task as more fun and enjoyable than the participants who were paid $20 to lie. We benefit, though, from approaching these inconsistencies with curiosity and grace, even when we want to change them. It’s giving you the information you need to be at peace with your decisions and to understand why you made them. In one study, https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/6-ways-to-take-a-break-from-drinking-alcohol/ researchers asked participants to give speeches that would encourage the audience to take a certain positive action. Since addiction creates a chemical dependency on a substance — whether it’s nicotine or sugar — this kind of dissonance can be hard to shake. In 1956, psychologist Jack Brehm observed that when people are given a choice between two similar items, they tend to believe that the item they chose is objectively better.

How to Reduce Cognitive Dissonance

Being paid $20 provides a reason for turning pegs, and there is, therefore, no dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is an internal tool for building self-awareness. In order to live our lives with purpose, clarity, and passion, we need these tools to understand when we’re losing sight of our internal compass. Developing the self-awareness to notice and question the dissonance often resolves it. Before they went on stage, they were told to think of a time when they didn’t exhibit that behavior.

Some of that dissonance can be a good thing, but too much (or too much unresolved tension) means we’re constantly at conflict with ourselves. And that tension and conflict can make us feel stressed, irritated, and unhappy if we let them fester for too long. Here’s what you need to do to go about reducing and reconciling the cognitive dissonance in your life. To keep a harmonious state of mind, we strive for consistency in our beliefs and actions. Owning our flaws is the first step to recognizing what drives our behavior. As we know, cognitive dissonance makes us feel compelled to reject, justify or avoid information.

Cognitive Dissonance: Theory, Examples & How to Reduce It

Sometimes, we can even get caught up in behaving or reacting a certain way that doesn’t necessarily align with how we really feel — and then we end up feeling lost. There’s a certain kind of confidence that comes with being grounded in your beliefs. It feels good knowing you’re able to uphold certain cognitive dissonance and addiction values, like the ones you learned from your parents and caregivers or the ones you’ve carved out for yourself based on your own personal experiences. Cognitive dissonance can hinder career growth and development. The presence of supportive social networks can influence cognitive dissonance.

Ways to Overcome Cognitive Dissonance

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