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Cognitive Dissonance

Have you ever had to choose between two important yet contradicting beliefs? 

Having incompatible beliefs or incompatible beliefs and behaviors is called cognitive dissonance and may lead to distress.

Read more about cognitive dissonance and the theory behind it.

Cognitive Dissonance

In the video, Mariza Thanopoulou, a psychologist from innerAssist Psychological Services, discusses cognitive dissonance, which is the mental discomfort people experience when they hold conflicting beliefs, values, or attitudes. She explains that this discomfort can lead people to modify their beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors in order to reduce the dissonance.

Mariza Thanopoulou provides several examples of cognitive dissonance, such as a person who smokes despite knowing that it is harmful to their health. She explains that this person may experience dissonance because they hold two conflicting beliefs: that smoking is enjoyable and that it is harmful to their health. The discomfort from this dissonance may lead the person to either quit smoking or to rationalize their behavior by convincing themselves that smoking is not as harmful as they previously believed.

Mariza Thanopoulou also discusses the importance of recognizing and addressing cognitive dissonance in therapy, as it can lead to personal growth and development. A therapist can help clients reduce cognitive dissonance by encouraging them to explore their beliefs, values, and attitudes and to consider alternative perspectives. By doing so, clients may be able to resolve their dissonance and move towards a more congruent sense of self.

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