Cognitive consistency theory


Da Costa, N. (October, 1995). Partial structures and the logic of Azande



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Da Costa, N. (October, 1995). Partial structures and the logic of Azande. American Philosophical Quarterly, 32(4), 325-340.

The author applies the theory of consistency to individuals particular beliefs. The beliefs are focused on the changes experienced on cross-cultural situations. The article analyzes the inconsistencies individual might experience when exposed to different cultures. The cultural exponents in particular are Zande witchcraft beliefs. The article studies the inconsistencies of other cultures according to others beliefs.


Davidson, J. R., & Kiesler, S. B. "Cognitive behavior before and after decisions". In Festinger, L. (1964). Conflict, Decision, and Dissonance. Stanford University Press: Stanford, CA., 10-20.

This article is another study of the application of the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance to tested situations. In this case, the situation is decision-making. The experiment was aimed at resolving the issue of whether a distinction between dissonance and conflict exists before or after a decision has been made. The study involved a group of 100 girls between the ages of 13 to 16. The original number of participants was eventually decreased to 85. The girls were asked to rank different decision-making situations. The results are then presented with regards to a specifically focused decision situation. The difference among pre-decision and post-decision processes are determined as well.


Festinger, L. (1957). A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. Stanford University Press: Stanford, CA. 1-31.

The book is the initial work written by the originator of the theory. This book presents all points regarding the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. The first chapter of the book introduces the reader to the overall feel of this theory. For example, chapter one explains the theory, offers definitions of key words and components, and the limits of dissonance. This book is a good start for scholars wanting to learn about the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance.


Parish, T. S. (Summer, 1996). An examination of cognitive dissonance and computer attitudes. Education, 116(4), 565-567.

The article is short and concise. However, it applies the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance to the attitudes of subjects with regard computers. The subjects of the study were divided among those who owned or did not own a computer. Then, the attitudes of the two groups of subjects were studied. In addition, the cognitive dissonance-related factors of gender and/or age were also analyzed in the study. The subjects were undergraduate students and their attitudes were measured in a Likert Scale system. The results present the attitudes relevant to the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance.




Wicklund, R. A. & Brehm, J. W. (1976). Perspectives on Cognitive Dissonance. Lawrence Erlaum Associates, Publishers: Hillsdale, NJ. 1-10.

Again, this book is geared in its entirety to the analysis of the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. The first chapter aims at trying to explain the theory. In addition, this chapter explains in detail the key elements of: Cognitions, Consonance, Dissonance, and Importance. Also, the relationship between these key elements is explained. The magnitude of dissonance and the ways it will be reduced are also delineated. This particular book is similarly helpful to someone who is learning about this theory.


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