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Cognitive dissonance

A kind of BALANCE THEORY proposed by the American psychologist Leon Festinger. The theory states that because we have a powerful DRIVE towards consistency (or consonance), if we hold two psychologically inconsistent cognitions (beliefs. attitudes, values or ideas) at the same time, or if our BEHAVIOUR clashes with those cognitions, we will be in an unpleasant state of tension which we are strongly motivated to reduce. As the theory deals with psychological rather than logical inconsistency, it proposes that we are not so much concerned with actually being consistent as with feeling that we are consistent.

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