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The products included an automatic coffee maker, an electric sandwich grill, an automatic toaster, and a portable radio.
In fact, though, it seems we find it easier to persuade ourselves that what we have achieved is worthwhile and that's what most of us do, evaluating highly something whose achievement has cost us dear - whether other people think it's much cop or not!
This method of reducing dissonance is known as 'effort justification.' If we put effort into a task which we have chosen to carry out, and the task turns out badly, we experience dissonance.
Cognitive dissonance was first investigated by Leon Festinger, arising out of a participant observation study of a cult which believed that the earth was going to be destroyed by a flood, and what happened to its members — particularly the really committed ones who had given up their homes and jobs to work for the cult — when the flood did not happen.
While fringe members were more inclined to recognize that they had made fools of themselves and to "put it down to experience," committed members were more likely to re-interpret the evidence to show that they were right all along (the earth was not destroyed because of the faithfulness of the cult members).
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Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors.
This produces a feeling of mental discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance.
For example, when people smoke (behavior) and they know that smoking causes cancer (cognition), they are in a state of cognitive dissonance.
Being paid provides a reason for turning pegs, and there is therefore no dissonance.
Life is filled with decisions, and decisions (as a general rule) arouse dissonance.