Essay on Analysis Of ' Quieting The Mind '

1011 Words Jul 6th, 2015 null Page
Alleviating Cognitive Dissonance In the chapter “Quieting the Mind” of the book, Opening Skinner’s Box, author Lauren Slater examines the theory of cognitive dissonance. Leon Festinger, a psychologist at the University of Minnesota, originally introduced the theory of cognitive dissonance to psychology in 1957. The basic way of thinking about cognitive dissonance is that it refers to a situation when two or more cognitive elements (such as behaviors and attitudes/ beliefs) are inconsistent, causing psychological stress and discomfort. Festinger tested his theory by constructing several experiments to observe if participants changed their beliefs to be congruent with their behaviors. The results are that people have an inner drive to hold all attitudes and beliefs in unity, but when disharmony occurs between two cognitive elements, the mind begins to “proselytize in a desperate defense mechanism” (Slater 116). Why people quickly attempt to resolve their relation with dissonance is not exactly known, besides the fact that human minds must always be made comfortable (Slater 118). Cognitive dissonance can be alleviated by using a variety of mental maneuvers to help comfort the mental disturbances and restore cognitive balance. One strategy for individuals who experiment cognitive dissonance is to change their train of thought or attitudes toward the situation that causes distress. By changing their attitude or beliefs it creates a justification to their hypocrisy. For…

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