Cognitive Dissonance Theory

Cognitive dissonance is the distressing mental state where people feel that they find themselves doing things that don’t fit with what they know or having opinions which they feel like they don’t hold (Griffin).  This theory was developed by Leon Festinger. The tension of dissonance forces us to change either our behaviors or beliefs to avoid the stressing feeling. Festinger claims that we will purposefully avoid information that will cause us to feel dissonance, have postdecision dissonance, especially after a major decision with equally appealing options, and that minimal justification brings about the best results (Griffin)








Leon Festinger