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  • Created on: 03-05-15 20:09
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  • The need to justify our actions: The costs & benefits of Dissonance Reduction
    • Theory of Cognitive Dissonance: feeling of discomfort caused by performing an action that runs counter to one's custom conception of oneself
    • Loen Festinger (1957): Dissonance is most powerful & upsetting when people behave in ways that threaten their self image
    • Ways to reduce CD: (1)By changing our behavior to bring it in line with the dissonant cognition (2)By attempting to justify our behavior through changing one of the dissonant cognition (3) By attempting to justify our behavior by adding new cognitions
      • Self Affirmation: reducing dissonance by trying to bolster the self concept in a different concept (i smoke but i'm good at maths)
      • Impact Bias: tendency to overestimate the intensity & duration of our emotional reactions to future negative events
    • Our need to maintain our self esteem leads to thinking that is not always rational but rationalizing - Drew Western(2006) Reasoning areas of the brain usually shut down when confronted with dissonant info
    • Postdecision Dissonance: Dissonance aroused after making a decision, typically reduced by enhancing the attractiveness of the chosen alternatives & devaluating the rejected ones
      • The Permanence of the Decision: the more important the decision the greater the dissonance
        • The irrevocability of a decision increases dissonance & motivation to reduce it
    • The Decision to Behave Immorally: likely to justify a bad action by (1)Finding a way to minimize the negative aspects of the action you chose (2)Adopting a more lenient attitude towards what you did
      • Mills (1958) Those who cheat become more lenient towards cheating
    • Justification of Efford: increase your liking for something you've worked hard for
      • Counterattitudinal Adovacy: stating an opinion or attitude that runs counter to one's private belief - One way to use the human tendency to reduce dissonance to foster socially beneficial behaviours


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