The cognitive dissonance

Two mysterious and complex words often plunged those who heard them at an unexpected moment.

- I have a cognitive dissonance!

But what does it mean? We parse clever words and explain them in simple language. So now let's find out what it all means, how to remember it and use it correctly.

So, the cognitive dissonance comes from two Latin words: cognitio - “knowledge” and dissonantia - “non-soundness”. In other words, it is some kind of inner disharmony or lack of comfort.

Cognitive dissonance in simple words

Now let's explain cognitive dissonance in simple words. What it is?

Firstly, it is a mental state. Secondly, it is accompanied by the internal discomfort of a person when he is confronted with some conflicting ideas in his understanding.

For example, you are familiar with one person and do not even suspect that he has a twin brother. But then one day you meet him, greet him by the hand and suddenly you find another, exact same person next to him.

From surprise (after all, you did not know about the twin), you have a sharp contradiction inside. It is this mental state that is called cognitive dissonance.

That is, in simple words, cognitive dissonance is characterized by a conflict of previously formed ideas about something.

Theory of cognitive dissonance

If you really want to be smart, and not just to trump smart words, then you need to know both the etymology and the origin history of complex concepts.

So, in 1957 a theory of cognitive dissonance was proposed by the American psychologist Leon Festinger. It was very helpful, because with its help in the science of psychology, you can explain various conflict situations. And it is very important to work with a person as a person.

This theory studies the effect of cognitive dissonance on a person, his types and ways of overcoming psychological discomfort.

Leon Festinger even managed to formulate two hypotheses for this remarkable theory:

  1. As soon as a person feels the emergence of dissonance, he will make every effort to overcome it, since he is the cause of great internal discomfort.
  2. The second statement follows from the first. A person seeks by all means to avoid situations in which cognitive dissonance may increase.

Here, perhaps, the whole theory.

Examples of cognitive dissonance

In the end, in order to learn a new smart word well, let's give a few examples of dissonance.

For example, you met a man who seemed extremely kind, quiet and calm. He never raises his voice to others and behaves with all meekly, like a lamb. We are located to him precisely because we perceive him as kind and good.

But you accidentally meet him in the park, walking with his wife. He has not yet seen us, so he behaves very naturally. And then you notice with horror that he shouts at his spouse, while calling him extremely bad words and doing it very aggressively, waving his arms and distorting his face with genuine malice.

You, knowing his meek meekly, are experiencing the most real cognitive dissonance, since his present behavior completely contradicts the idea that has developed about him earlier.

Or another example.

You got a job in a very large company. It has about 1,000 employees, and all have high salaries. That is, the CEO is, in fact, a millionaire.

One day you go into the kitchen, which is in the office, and you notice how this very director, the manager of colossal money, sweeps the floor. He simply decided to tidy up for his workers, who nassed a little during lunch and forgot to sweep.

That internal conflict, contradiction or inconsistency in your view of the position of the person in the company and the broom for cleaning will be called cognitive dissonance.

Well, the last example.

You walk down the street and see how some beggar is sitting near the underpass and asking for alms. You need to wait for your friend, and you take this opportunity to watch the beggar. Five minutes pass, he suddenly rises, collects all his bags and charity and heads to his own car.

The complete inconsistency of the idea of ​​homeless people owning cars will provoke a real cognitive dissonance inside.

How to remember?

To memorize any difficult term, it must be used a couple of times in everyday life. When you meet with your friend, and he will offer you to go to the nearest institution to have a good meal, tell him that you, by virtue of new convictions, decided not to eat in the city's eateries.

After he emotionally demonstrates his surprise to you, smiling slyly, say:

“What, did cognitive dissonance arise, sir?” I joked, come on, eat!

Watch the video: Cognitive Dissonance Theory: A Crash Course (April 2020).