An action-based model of dissonance is presented. This model accepts the original theory's proposal that a sufficient cognitive inconsistency causes the negative affective state of dissonance. It extends the original theory by proposing why cognitive inconsistency prompts dissonance and dissonance reduction. After reviewing past theoretical and empirical developments on cognitive dissonance theory, we describe the action-based model and present results from behavioral and physiological experiments that have tested predictions derived from this model. In particular, this evidence converges with recent neuroscience evidence in suggesting that the anterior cingulate cortex and left prefrontal cortical region are involved in conflict detection and resolution, respectively. We end by reviewing research on individual differences in dissonance arousal and reduction, and present a new measure designed to assess these individual differences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology