Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting cognitions (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values, emotionalreactions) simultaneously. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise, dread, guilt, anger, or embarrassment.The theory of cognitive dissonance in social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by altering existing cognitions or adding new ones to create consistency. The diagram to the right shows a new cognition being integrated into a person's belief system to resolve such a conflict. An example of this would be the conflict between wanting to smoke and knowing that smoking is unhealthy; a person may try to change their feelings about the odds that they will actually suffer the consequences, or they might add the consonant element that the smoking is worth short term benefits.
Cognitive dissonance has also been demonstrated to occur when people seek to:Explain unexplained feelings: When a disaster occurs in a community, irrationally fearful rumors spread in nearby communities not involved in the disaster because of the need of those who are not threatened to justify their anxieties Minimize regret of irrevocable choices: Bettors at a racetrack are more confident in their chosen horse just after placing the bet because they cannot change it (the bettors felt "post-decision dissonance") .Justify behavior that opposed their views: Students judge cheating less harshly after being induced to cheat on a test Align one's perceptions of a person with one's behavior toward that person: the Ben Franklin effect refers to that statesman's observation that the act of performing a favor for a rival leads to increased positive feelings for that individual.There are other ways that cognitive dissonance is involved in shaping our views about people, as well as our own identities (as discussed more in the sections below). For instance, Self-evaluation maintenance theory suggests that people feel dissonance when their cherished skills or traits are outmatched by close social ties (e.g. Jill the painter feels dissonance because she is friends with a master painter - Jill can either care less about painting, or justify her inferiority in some other way). Balance theory suggests people have a general tendency to seek consonance between our views, and the views or characteristics of others (e.g. the religious believer feels dissonance because his partner does not believe the same things - dissonance which the believer will be motivated to justify). People may self handicap so that any failures during an important task are easier to justify (e.g. the student who drinks the night before an important exam in response to his fear of performing poorly).
Kognitiv dissonans er også det kritiske journalister tager afsæt i når de interviewer magtfulde politikere: Du har tidligere sagt sådan og sådan og lovet sådan og sådan, hvordan hænger de sammen med at du nu siger noget helt andet og løber fra dine løfter?
Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others reflect correct behavior for a given situation. This effect is prominent in ambiguous social situations where people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior, and is driven by the assumption that surrounding people possess more knowledge about the situation.The effects of social influence can be seen in the tendency of large groups to conform to choices which may be either correct or mistaken, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as herd behavior. Although social proof reflects a rational motive to take into account the information possessed by others, formal analysis shows that it can cause people to converge too quickly upon a single choice, so that decisions of even large groups of individuals may be grounded in very little information (see information cascades).Social proof is a type of conformity. When a person is in a situation where they are unsure of the correct way to behave, they will often look to others for cues concerning the correct behavior. When "we conform because we believe that other's interpretation of an ambiguous situation is more accurate than ours and will help us choose an appropriate course of action," it is informational social influence. This is contrasted with normative social influence wherein a person conforms to be liked or accepted by others.Social proof often leads not just to public compliance (conforming to the behavior of others publicly without necessarily believing it is correct) but private acceptance (conforming out of a genuine belief that others are correct). Social proof is more powerful when being accurate is more important and when others are perceived as especially knowledgeable.
Dette at publikum på tilskuerpladserne reagerer og vi som seere oplever det, forstærker vores oplevelse af: glæde hvis vi selv er lidt begejstrede for det der skete, af vrede hvis vi selv synes det ikke er helt fint det der forgik på banen.