Principles of Social Psychology, v. 1.0​: Introducing Social Psychology

Principles of Social Psychology, v. 1.0 :  Introducing Social Psychology

Original Question:

For this week's Forum, respond to the following:  This week, we are discussing attitudes, and one important point to remember is that attitudes can be very deeply entrenched and difficult to change.  Yet, sometimes people engage in behavior that seems to clash with or is inconsistent with their attitudes.  This phenomenon is often related to cognitive dissonance.

Pick one real-life example (it doesn't have to be your own personal example, but it can be) of behavior that seems to reflect cognitive dissonance.  

Speculate as to what you believe the person's deeply entrenched belief or attitude was and then describe the inconsistent or incompatible behavior.  If you were inside that person's head, what could have been the dissonant cognitions he/she was likely having:  Imagine a thought bubble above that person's head:  what would it say?  Finally, how could the cognitive dissonance be resolved?  If it could not be resolved, why not?

Reply to the following response with 200 words minimum. (please make response as if having a conversation, respond directly to some of the statements in below post. This is not providing an analysis of the original post. Respectfully address it and even ask clarifying or additional questions.)

 Attitude is something that we all have.  Some people use “attitude” as a defense mechanism, to keep people from really knowing how they feel.  Attitude is really an evaluation of something, be it an issue, circumstance, or a “cereal.”  Most attitudes are changed by persuasion, or social influence.  Our lesson shows us that persuasion can come into play, where we can be persuaded to change a negative attitude.  This can be like a learned behavior, to change what we see as dissonance.

            Cognitive dissonance is when people become uncomfortable because their attitude and beliefs do not match their behaviors.  One real life example is in the church.  When people that are supposed to be “Christ like” every day of their life, and display such a “saintly persona” on Sunday, “Praise the Lord,” “God is Good,” and Monday through Friday they are cussing you out, swearing worse than sailors.  Not one iota of “Christ” is demonstrated when they are not around church folk, or in the church house.  Before you can get out of the church parking lot, road rage is displayed after we just listened to a sermon on “Love.”  Not judging, but that type of attitude, is plain mean, and is not displaying the behavior that says we are a Christian.

            This type of cognitive dissonance should be able to be resolve, especially amongst “believers,” we should be able to display the “fruits of the Spirit” which is: love, joy peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.  But the flip side of this is that daily living causes people to fall into the trap of being inconsiderate.  There is an internal struggle, and people become uncomfortable with their feelings and attitude.  This psychologist by the name of Leon Festinger, wrote a book entitled “A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance,” and he feels that one can be motivated with this dissonance toward some positivity, or change.  As “hunger leads toward activity oriented toward hunger reduction.” (Festinger 2017).  Most people, as in people practicing leading a Christly life, want their beliefs and behavior to be consistent.  Attitude consistency is vital to making change in behavior, this is where “persuasive appeals” can be helpful and effective in changing our behavior, and making it more in line with resolving our cognitive dissonance.



Works Cited

Cherry, Kendra. (8/22/17). “What Is Cognitive Dissonance.”  Retracted from

Saylor Academy (2012).

** Please don’t just rephrase their info, but respond to it. Remember to answer question at the end if there is one. **


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