Cognitive Dissonance: Progress on a Pivotal Theory in Social Psychology

Front Cover
Judson Mills, Eddie Harmon-Jones
American Psychological Association, 1999 - Medical - 411 pages
Tell any smoker that his habit is unhealthy, and he most likely will agree. What mental process does a person go through when he or she continues to do something unhealthy? When an honest person tells a "white lie," what happens to his or her sense of integrity? If someone must choose between two equally attractive options, why does one's value judgement of the options change after the choice has been made? In 1954 Dr. Leon Festinger drafted a version of a theory describing the psychological phenomenon that occurs in these situations. He called it cognitive dissonance: the feeling of psychological discomfort produced by the combined presence of two thoughts that do not follow from one another. Festinger proposed that the greater the discomfort, the greater the desire to reduce the dissonance of the two cognitive elements. The elegance of this theory has inspired psychologists over the past four decades. Cognitive Dissonance: Perspectives on a Pivotal Theory in Social Psychology documents the on-going research and debate provoked by this influential theory.

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About the author (1999)

Eddie Harmon-Jones, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Texas A&M University. Dr. Harmon-Jones's current research focuses on emotions and motivations, their implications for social processes and behaviors, and their underlying neural circuits. His research has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Fetzer Institute. In 1999 he coedited "Cognitive Dissonance: Progress on a Pivotal Theory in Social Psychology," In 2002 he received the Distinguished Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychophysiology from the Society for Psychophysiological Research. In 2003 Dr. Harmon-Jones coedited a special issue devoted to social neuroscience for the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology," He has also served as an associate editor of the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology" and is on the editorial boards of four other journals.
Piotr Winkielman, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Winkielman's current research focuses on the relation between emotion, cognition, body, and consciousness using psychological and psychophysiological approaches. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Alliance for Autism Research. He has served on the editorial boards of the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology" and "Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin," and is currently Associate Editor of "Emotion," In 2005 Dr. Winkielman coedited "Emotion and Consciousness,

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