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Current time:0:00Total duration:4:48

Video transcript

so we talked about in a previous video about how attitudes generally shape our behaviors people strive for consistency and harmony between their attitudes and behaviors for example you wouldn't hold the attitude that eating meat is immoral and then still go out to Burger King and have a positive attitude towards eating hamburgers so there's an inconsistency and as people we usually don't like that we feel a sense of discomfort now when we have these contradictions in our attitudes and behaviors this can lead to something called cognitive dissonance so cognitive dissonance is the discomfort experienced when holding two or more conflicting cognitions and these cognitions can be ideas beliefs values or emotional reactions and this feeling of discomfort can lead to alterations in one of our attitudes in one of our beliefs or even our behaviors and the reason we alter or change these cognitions is kind of like a protective mechanism or defense mechanism to reduce the discomfort we feel between inconsistencies so let's take a look of cognitive dissonance in the eyes of a smoker now pretending we're a smoker we're going to say I smoke but at the same time we also think can have this attitude that smoking leads to cancer now our behaviors we smoke what our attitude is that smoking leads to cancer there is a contradiction there do you see it there is an inconsistency so this is what dissonance is it they are our contradictions and we don't like contradictions we like balance and harmony all that good stuff so when we have these contradictions we may do four different things to our cognitions to alter alter those attitudes in order to reduce that comfort and the first of these is that we may try to modify one or two of our cognitions so in this example of the smoker the smoker may say I really don't smoke that much so he went or she went from saying I smoked to modifying that a little bit and saying I really don't smoke that much so there's a little bit of an alteration there in order to reduce the discomfort a person has in their attitude and behavior the second thing that they might try and do is trivialize trivialize which means making less important so they may change the importance of their cognition or trivialize it by saying something like the evidence is weak that smoking causes cancer so remember their original cognition was smoking leads to cancer now they're saying by trivializing that the evidence is weak that smoking causes cancer so do you see how there's a little bit of an alteration there as well now the third way that this contradiction can be modified or reduced is by adding more cognitions so another way we can make our cognitions less discomfortable or the contradictions less uncomfortable is by adding more cognitions so someone may say I exercise so much that it doesn't even matter that I smoke well the first was I smoked the second was smoking leads to cancer and now we're slightly modifying both of those by adding another cognition saying I exercise so much that it doesn't even matter that I smoke so there's a third way that we deal with cognitive dissidence and the last way is by denying these cognitions altogether so we're denying that they're even related denying that smoking and cancer are even related so the smoker in this case may say that there is no evidence that smoking and cancer are linked so this is cognitive dissonance in a nutshell in the eyes of a smoker and the big take-home message here is that people strive for harmony we strive for harmony in our thoughts and our words and our actions and as soon as our contradiction as soon as our cognitions our attitudes and behaviors don't align that's when we have cognitive dissonance