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Essay: Cognitive dissonance

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  • Subject area(s): Psychology essays
  • Reading time: 3 minutes
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  • Published: 21 October 2015*
  • File format: Text
  • Words: 680 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 3 (approx)

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Cognitive dissonance is the mental anxiety or uneasiness experienced by a person who holds two or more conflicting convictions, thoughts, or values simultaneously, or is defied by new information that conflicts with existing convictions, thoughts, or qualities. It is depicted as the hypothesis that “assumes that to reduce discomfort, we justify our actions to ourselves” (Myers, 2008). The following is a case scenario of a cognitive dissonance experienced by a rather righteous man.
One night Jayden was driving home from party time after having a few drinks and drove up over a hill. He had one minute to think when he tried to swerve after seeing a glimmer of silver. He felt a jolt and heard a crash. Instantly he pulled his car over and hurried to the side of the road only to find a man lying still on his bike. Jared, terrified, checked the man’s heartbeat, and in discovering one, made the split decision to get in his car and drive away. By the time Jared got home, he had justified in his mind that this was not his fault The man on the bike ought not to have been riding in the dark, had it been daytime, this would not have happened. He contemplated internally, had he stayed and called the police, despite the fact that he was not tipsy, liquor may have been smelled on his breath and he could have been accused of smashed driving. This would certainly raise his car insurance rates alongside the chance that his permit could be repudiated, both, which he couldn’t afford! “Why was that numbskull riding his bicycle in the dark'” Jared kept convincing himself “it was very nearly like he was asking to be hit!”

Jared’s choice was influenced by Social, Cultural and Spiritual convictions. His cultural knowledge persuaded he ought to leave the scene of the accident on the grounds that he would be misconstrued. As people, we are mindful of when one is acting in change to what one convict of. We generally know at a certain level of cognizance, if our conduct does not coordinate our convictions/state of mind/suppositions. There is an alert inside of oneself that will sound when one notice such a variance, regardless. Jared’s considerations and actions were impacted by others (what society would think, his family, and companions and so on.) when he chose to leave the scene. Since Jared experienced cognitive dissonance, he is expected to figure out how to keep up consistency among his discernments. He needed to be in agreeability again with societal impact that he encountered through the way of life he was brought up in and the spiritual convictions that he held. He knew it was not moral to leave the mischance. And thus started to apply self-justification.
Conduct and state of mind impact one another. A crucial conviction is that if a man’s disposition is moved in the right course, conduct will take after. Jared’s mentality about somebody riding his bicycle at night ultimately drove him to his conduct that leaving the scene of a mischance is splendidly satisfactory. He accepted on the off chance that somebody is idiotic to ride oblivious then he or she should have been hit by a car.
Putting cognitive dissonance into use can be useful when managing conflict. At the point when a disharmony has been made, it can change or initiate ones mentality or conduct bringing about a response. Jared’s inconsistency between his action of getting in his car and heading out and his defending thought about the casualty riding his bicycle in the dark so late has constrained him to reexamine his course of action.
As per (Barker Phil, 2003), by presenting new information like the humanity of the casualty for instance, his kids, his wife, and so forth another dissonance is introduced between what Jared is doing and presently believes. Consequently, there is a reaction; he can act or correct his considerations to legitimize the new findings. This can prompt reconcilement through cognizance and changes of activities and considerations.

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