- Hardcover: 291 pages
- Publisher: Stanford University Press (1962)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0804701318
- ISBN-13: 978-0804701310
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #682,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance Hardcover – 1962
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Top Customer Reviews
His theory, which has been referenced in media often, is thouroughly interesting. It describes the means by which one's mind tries to maintain consistency between one's attitudes, behaviours, and beliefs. The examples set forth are both funny and intriguing.
A book you will thoroughly enjoy while learning a great deal about the functionings of your own mind.
I'm revisiting this subject today because just two days ago a local professional psychologist I met at the gym described Festinger's book as "maybe the highest overall explanatory power regarding human behavior of anything I've ever read." The gist of Festinger's theory, distilled from his ample research and experience, is that there is systemic pressure toward organic consistency (the opposite of dissonance) among each person's percepts, concepts, overall sociological interactions and worldview tendencies, and that new information felt to be inconsistent with those is strongly resisted, often not understood or even clearly perceived because this new info is dissonant, i.e. cacophonous, with the person's already incorporated data/feelings/beliefs.
Since 1972 I've found nothing to disconfirm Festinger's theory, and dozens of elements to confirm it. One recent excellent lay presentation, the cover article of New Scientist magazine of about a year ago, "Two Tribes," summarizes two genetically distinct brain types that greatly differ, for example, in a standard cognitive measurement known as "tolerance of ambiguity." The article, directed mainly toward Americans, presented tested data demonstrating that, in general, individuals of higher tolerance of ambiguity were more frequently found among Democrats, and those of lower tolerance more often among Republicans.Read more ›