Thinking one way and acting another: what is cognitive dissonance

Have you ever felt like your head was about to explode because your thoughts and actions didn't align? Or why did you say 'yes' if your wish really was to say 'no'? If it has happened to you at times that you think in one way but act in another, you have suffered from what experts call cognitive dissonance, a psychological phenomenon that describes the tension or contradiction that arises when our beliefs or values ​​do not fit our behaviors.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 11:30
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Thinking one way and acting another: what is cognitive dissonance

Have you ever felt like your head was about to explode because your thoughts and actions didn't align? Or why did you say 'yes' if your wish really was to say 'no'? If it has happened to you at times that you think in one way but act in another, you have suffered from what experts call cognitive dissonance, a psychological phenomenon that describes the tension or contradiction that arises when our beliefs or values ​​do not fit our behaviors.

This theory was proposed by the New York psychologist Leon Festinger in 1957 and occurs when a person's belief or opinion does not correspond in any way to the way in which he or she acts. This fact can generate a feeling of inner conflict or self-deception. Next, we seek to avoid or reduce this conflict. “This internal tension or dissonance makes us aware of the need to resolve said conflict to live with greater integrity, therefore, we will try to reduce the dissonance that we experience” they say from the European Institute of Positive Psychology. But how to reduce cognitive dissonance?

Cognitive dissonance can have significant effects on our lives. From generating a feeling of discomfort to a great internal conflict. Changing behavior or altering previous beliefs are some of the recommendations that experts advise in order to reduce the internal conflict produced by cognitive dissonance.

Understanding cognitive dissonance can help us reflect on our beliefs and behaviors and, consequently, make positive changes in our lives. Now, remember that what works for some people does not work for others, so it is advisable to visit a professional to help you overcome that internal conflict or cognitive dissonance.