2. Examples of Cognitive Dissonance

The height of cognitive dissonance occurs when conflicting thoughts and behaviors pertain to our sense of self. For instance, we might notice the discrepancy between our thoughts and behaviors when we are shopping. If a person is dedicated to taking care of the environment but buys a gas-guzzling vehicle, they are likely to feel conflict with their deep belief that one should take measures to protect the planet. To lessen the dissonance, the person can trade the vehicle in for an environmentally friendly alternative or conclude that taking care of the environment isn’t that important. Other examples include:

  • A smoker who hates smoking
  • A sedentary person who believes in the importance of being physically active
  • A person maintaining a healthy diet who eats junk food
Cognitive Dissonance Influences

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