What is “Cognitive Dissonance” and why does it keep me addicted?

People may run into problems with cognitive dissonance because it can be, in its most basic form, a sort of lie to oneself. As with all lies, it depends on the size of the lie and whether it’s more likely to hurt you in some way in the long run. We tell “little white lies” everyday in our social lives (“Oh yes, that’s a great color on you!”) that bring little harm to either side and help smooth over otherwise awkward situations.

cognitive dissonance treatment

For an addict, while craving, the world is experienced in a very different way compared to the way when the craving is satisfied. Craving distorts addicts’ ability to process information in a manner that promotes drug use. For example, while craving, the decision Expressive Arts Therapy: 15 Creative Activities and Techniques to smoke just one cigarette is viewed in a more favorable light. The smoker may focus on more accommodating belief (e.g., “smoking cannot be very dangerous”). By reducing the risk of smoking, one will have less difficulty in smoking and not feel bad about it.

Social pressures

This is called the free-choice paradigm and the typical prediction is that individuals will like the chosen option (vs. the non-chosen option) more after making the decision. This is called the spreading-of-alternatives effect and is thought to shield against post-decisional regret (Brehm, 1956). In the effort-justification paradigm, researchers study situations where people voluntarily engage in unpleasant behavior in order to reach a higher goal. The usual effect is that people begin to value the goal more, the more unpleasant the behavior–to guard against post-behavioral regret (Aronson and Mills, 1959).

However, if the reduction strategy fails, the individual might feel a prolonged sense of annoyance and irritation. In this paper, we present a novel approach for how to reconcile previous ideas and findings related https://accountingcoaching.online/expressive-arts-therapy-15-creative-activities-and/ to dissonance reduction in a more inclusive model. The first step for such reconciliation must make use of an a priori approach to the problem, where the theoretical groundwork for the new model is established.

Returning to the Emotional Component of Dissonance Theory

This causes distress and tension, affecting one’s ability to function normally. For me, this gap, the gap between what is right and what I do, the only way for me to resolve that is through the grace of God and trying hard every day to be humble, willing to change, and as brutally honest with myself as possible. Each of these ways of justifying keep Jennie stuck in the same loop of believing she should exercise, not exercising, and trying not to notice it or feel bad about it. So they say things like “No one will know,” “Everyone does it,” “It’s not that bad,” “She is worse than I am,” I’m not a bad person; I only stole this because I needed it more,” etc.

Cognitive dissonance: Definition, effects, and examples – Medical News Today

Cognitive dissonance: Definition, effects, and examples.

Posted: Fri, 09 Sep 2022 07:00:00 GMT [source]

For example, regarding belief dilemmas, Abelson (1959) posited that the more difficult the dilemma the more people would increase their level of effort to reduce inconsistencies (from denial to transcendence, i.e., seeing the big picture). Researchers focusing on induced compliance assume that dissonance reduction is a function of the importance of the dissonant cognitions (e.g., Hardyck and Kardush, 1968; Leippe and Eisenstadt, 1999). For unimportant cognitions, simply forgetting about it would be the predicted outcome. For moderately important cognitions, people might change their attitude, while for highly important cognitions the predicted outcome would be mental restructuring (e.g., reaffirming one’s original viewpoint via attitude bolstering). Concerning effort justification, Weick (1968) argues that the social context in which the dissonance occurs may determine the reduction strategy.

Potential Pitfalls of Cognitive Dissonance

Prominent among the symptoms of drug or alcohol addiction are the relentless remorse, regret, shame, embarrassment, and self-loathing that become the “stone in the shoe” of our mind. Morning after morning… awakening disappointed to be alive… physically sick… already obsessed with getting the next drink or drug… heartsick over yet another failure to stop… all the loss… the troubles we have brought on others… the horrible things we have done. “We expected it to be bad, but we https://g-markets.net/sober-living/art-therapy-for-addiction/ didn’t really expect it to be that bad,” says Soeren Mattke, director of the Brain Health Observatory at USC Dornsife’s Center for Economic and Social Research and a lead author on the team’s most recent paper. Food and Drug Administration, which became available this summer, can slow down the disease’s progress, but only if used in the early stages of the condition. About one-third of people diagnosed with MCI will develop dementia due to Alzheimer’s within five years.

  • While smokers are not craving, the shift in balance between benefit and negative consequences will motivate smokers to quit.
  • Neurological decline can be a major source of shame for older adults, who may go out of their way to compensate for symptoms in order to avoid detection by family members and clinical evaluation.
  • For example, the smoker might either quit smoking or rationalize their smoking by saying other habits are just as dangerous.
  • Addiction is a disease that already changes the chemistry of the brain and its ability to function normally.