Sometimes, employees experience the urge to express dissenting views against certain company policies or decisions. So, they may also feel cognitive dissonance when these views conflict with their commitment to your organization. It influences employees’ attitudes, behaviors, and overall dynamics. It can also lead to reduced job satisfaction, lower morale, and increased stress. By teaching students how they have to objectively look at new facts and information, the psychological stress of their beliefs conflicting with their behaviour or reality can be reduced, and vice versa.

  • Viktoriya is passionate about researching the latest trends in economics and business.
  • People tend to seek consistency in their attitudes and perceptions, so this conflict causes unpleasant feelings of unease or discomfort.
  • Little by little, you begin to consider the pros of living in a small town.
  • This initiative would align your employee’s growth objectives with avenues for skill development.
  • For instance, they may justify their sedentary behavior by saying that their other healthy behaviors—like eating sensibly and occasionally exercising—make up for their largely sedentary lifestyle.
  • Research from Acharya, Blackwell and Sen shows that individuals committing violence against members of another group develop hostile attitudes towards their victims as a way of minimizing cognitive dissonance.
  • They include avoiding or devaluing factual information, rationalizing, changing one’s behavior, or developing critical thinking.

Donna is an elearning content writer for EdApp, a mobile-based microlearning platform designed for today’s digital training needs. When she’s not writing web articles, she writes lines of code or songs or anything food-related. As you align your organization’s actions with the professed value of innovation, you can also help employees reconcile their perceptions with reality.

Causes of Cognitive Dissonance

Your employees can struggle with the contrast between regular praise for their efforts and a persistent feeling that they’re being inadequately compensated. This cognitive dissonance stems from the difference between their perceived value to the company and the financial rewards they’re getting. The general effectiveness of psychotherapy and psychological interventions can be partially explained by the cognitive dissonance theory. The cognitive dissonance theory is used in many ways in everyday modern life.

  • The worker now either will change his original belief about the difficulty level of the task and try it, or will stick to his belief and let himself get replaced by his colleague to reduce the psychological discomfort.
  • Addressing it also fosters a more transparent and ethical work environment and improves employee well-being.
  • Life-threatening episodes like cardiac arrest or accidents can trigger near-death experiences (NDEs).
  • The COVID-19 pandemic, an extreme public health crisis, cases rose to the hundred million and deaths at nearly four million worldwide.
  • For example, people who hold strong beliefs about the detrimental impact of gas-powered cars on the environment might find it more comfortable to switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle.

Research seems to suggest that people from non-Western cultures do experience cognitive dissonance, but that the contexts that lead to feelings of dissonance might differ depending on cultural norms and values. According to the cognitive dissonance theory, people tent to seek consistency between these cognitions. For instance, if there is an inconsistency or dissonance between beliefs and behaviour, something will have to change to resolve that dissonance. Many commonly cited examples of cognitive dissonance are of when we justify or rationalize negative choices or mistakes. But sometimes cognitive dissonance can help us establish positive behaviors or changes that our personality or previous habits would otherwise inhibit us from making.

Induce effort

Little by little, you begin to consider the pros of living in a small town. You’ll replace them and always pick up after your dog in the future. By Kendra Cherry, MSEd

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the «Everything Psychology Book.» Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the «Everything Psychology Book.»

For instance, a company may sell something to give a part of the proceeds to charity, and for that purpose, may send their sales-people to stop pedestrians and ask them to buy their product. These sales-people stop those walking on the streets and ask them to buy their product for a worthy cause. Now, the potential customers may not always be looking to buy the product, which may seem useless or silly to them.

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Among the examples he used to illustrate the theory were doomsday cult members and their explanations for why the world had not ended as they had anticipated. Many experiments have since been conducted to illustrate cognitive dissonance in more ordinary contexts. The effects may relate to the discomfort of the dissonance itself cognitive dissonance and addiction or the defense mechanisms a person adopts to deal with it. If that same person believes the COVID-19 pandemic is real but refuses to wear a mask, their values and behaviors would contradict each other. It occurs in all of us frequently, not just when planning to diet and justifying a doughnut with a delayed diet start.

cognitive dissonance theory example