In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values. Leon Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance focuses on how humans strive for internal consistency. When inconsistency (dissonance) is experienced, individuals tend to become psychologically uncomfortable and they are motivated to attempt to reduce this dissonance, as well as actively avoiding situations and information which are likely to increase it. Relationship between cognitions Individuals can adjust their attitudes or actions in various ways. Adjustments result in one of three relationships between two cognitions or between a cognition and a behavior. Magnitude of dissonance The pressure to reduce cognitive dissonance is a function of the magnitude of said dissonance. Reducing E.
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