Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 45

Leon Festinger - Cognitive dissonance from disconfirmed expectancies

cognitions theory york city

Psychologist, born in New York City, USA. He studied at the State University of Iowa, then taught at several universities, moving in 1968 to the New School for Social Research in New York City. His work centred on the introduction and development of the concept of ¬Ďcognitive dissonance¬í. According to the theory, people are unable to tolerate conflicting cognitions (beliefs, thoughts, perceptions) for any length of time, and have to resolve such internal conflicts by rejecting or devaluing one or more of the cognitions. The theory has proved useful in the understanding of a variety of psychological phenomena.

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