Leon Festinger proposed that human beings strive for internal psychological consistency in order to mentally function in the real world. The cognitive activity of children of early age person who experiences internal inconsistency tends to become psychologically uncomfortable, and is motivated to reduce the cognitive dissonance. The reduction of the psychological stress of cognitive dissonance is a function of the magnitude of the dissonance caused by the existential inconsistency between two contradictory beliefs held by the person, or the contradiction between the person’s beliefs and an action taken and realised by him or her. The importance of cognitions’: The greater the personal value of the elements, the greater the magnitude of the dissonance in the relation.
Ratio of cognitions’: The proportion of dissonant-to-consonant elements. Cognitive dissonance theory proposes that people seek psychological consistency between their personal expectations of life and the existential reality of life. The creation and establishment of psychological consistency allows the person afflicted with cognitive dissonance to lessen his or her mental stress by actions that reduce the magnitude of the dissonance, realised either by changing with or by justifying against, or by being indifferent to the existential contradiction that is inducing the mental stress. I’ll eat no more of this doughnut.
I’m allowed to cheat my diet every once in a while. I’ll spend thirty extra minutes at the gymnasium to work off the doughnut. This doughnut is not a high-sugar food. Smoking and no attempt to quit since the previous round of study.
Quit during the study and did not use tobacco from the time of the previous round of study. Quit during the study, but relapsed to smoking at the time of the study. Smoking calms me down when I am stressed or upset. Smoking is an important part of my life. Smoking makes it easier for me to socialize.
The medical evidence that smoking is harmful is exaggerated. One has to die of something, so why not enjoy yourself and smoke? Smoking is no more risky than many other things people do. Earth, to rescue them from earthly corruption. The tasks were designed to induce a strong, negative, mental attitude in the subjects.