Advisor

Walt Scott

Abstract

Cognitive dissonance is the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude changes. We as humans run into situations causing these cognitive dissonant states regularly throughout our lifespan. The dissonance created from the inconsistencies can cause major stress, general unease, fear, questioning of previously solid personal foundations, and other negative effects. The severity of the effects can range from minor importance to major significance depending on the situation. In this presentation I use a meta-analysis of previous studies on cognitive dissonance and use information from current personality science. I inspect the varying effects from and situations where dissension is present, and also examine the relationship between this dissonance and how we conceive our idea of “self”. My aim is to use the science behind the conception of self and its relation to cognitive dissonance to help promote well-being. Applying concepts of awareness, nonattachment to thought, and alternative views of self can potentially help with our problems resulting from cognitive dissonance and promote more optimal personal development.

Department

Psychology

Publication Date

Spring 2016

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