2001 THEORY WORKBOOK
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This theory of Cognitive
Dissonance says that human beings often have conflicting beliefs with actions
they take, or other beliefs they have. This dissonance creates a
tension and tension reduction is automatically sought by changing our evaluations
by some degree. Cognitive Dissonance is when you have two good choices
and you make your decision then you find yourself unsure or in doubt about
the choice you made. You might have to downplay the other choice
in order to reassure yourself.
A Theory of Cognitive
Dissonance. Stanford, CA. Stanford University Press.
This theory gives a basic
explanation for the way humans react when they act outside of their beliefs.
We cannot carryout actions that we believe are wrong, so we either cease
the action or believe that we are right.
This theory explains what
dissonance is and how it is created along with predicting what will happen
when one experiences it. It is put in the most general, simple terms
possible and could be applied to any thought or action. The theory
of cognitive dissonance could be proved false through testing and invites
new research on specific aspects of the concept.
The theory of Cognitive
Dissonance implies that when there is tension we change a belief or an
action. Many times selective exposure is used which focuses oneís
attention on only certain aspects so that tension will not be created.
This selective exposure prevents dissonance. This theory also implies
that we experience more dissonance when the issue is more important, when
we put off a decision and the decision is permanent.
This theory could be used
in the persuasive context in a variety of ways. When marketers want
to persuade their audience to buy a product or perform a subject they must
convince them that this is a good action and if their beliefs do not match
this action, they must persuade them to change their beliefs. For
instance, during the holidays the Salvation Army campaigns heavily for
donations. The different commercials and print ads show homelessness
and its effects. When trying to persuade an audience member to give,
they must persuade them that their organization is a worthy one.
If someone believes that the homeless are lazy and donít deserve donations,
they will not donate until that belief is changed. If they were to
consider donating they would experience dissonance in which either their
belief or action would undergo a change. It is the Salvation Armyís
goal to change the belief that the homeless are lazy so the reduction of
dissonance will result in a donation.
in Eight (8) Primary Communication Theory Textbooks:
Anderson, R., & Ross, V.
Questions of communication: A practical introduction to theory
(2nd ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. pp.111.
Cragan, J. F., & Shields, D.C. (1998). Understanding communication
theory: The communicative forces for human action. Boston, MA: Allyn
& Bacon. pp. 178,332.
Griffin, E. (2000). A first look at communication theory (4th ed.).
Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. N/A
Griffin, E. (1997). A first look at communication theory (3rd ed.).
New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 206-215.
Infante, D. A., Rancer, A. S., & Womack, D. F. (1997). Building
communication theory (3rd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.
pp. 56-57, 161-164, 528.
Littlejohn, S. W. (1999).
Theories of human communication (6th ed).
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2000). Introducing communication theory:
Analysis and application. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield. pp. 104-116.
Wood, J. T. (1997).
Communication theories in action: An introduction.
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. N/A