Why does making a decision tend to generate dissonance essay sample


Question 1
Stanley Schachter’s (1964) two-factor theory of emotion can be viewed in part as a social theory of emotion. Explain
The Schachter’s Theory of Emotion integrates the roles of the cognitive factors and psychosocial arousal in the determination of human emotion. It further asserts that the experience specific emotions depends on the cognitive factors exercising over the general psychosocial arousal. These principles coincide with the social theory of emotions, which also asserts that human emotions depend upon psychosocial and cognitive concepts in adults and children consecutively.

Question 2

Upward Social Comparisons refers to comparing ourselves with the people we believe are better than us while downward social comparison is comparing ourselves with others worse off than we are. An upward comparison would demoralize Josie since he would believe that the people without cancer are better off. However, a downward social comparison would motivate him to live since other people have cancer and are at worse stages.

Question 3

Decision-making rends to reduce dissonance since decisions tend to create a balance in beliefs and behavior. In certain cases, the beliefs of individuals differ from their behavior. For instance, a person might value environmental conservation, but drives a car that emits unfriendly fumes. Therefore, he has to decide between his belief and behavior. Dissonance can be reduced through reducing the importance of the conflicting belief, changing the conflicting belief to be consistent with beliefs and behaviors, and focusing on more supporting behavior.

Question 4

What is counter attitudinal advocacy?
This is the process of publicly communicating a belief that runs counter to a belief the individual holds aimed at changing the beliefs of the individual. It relates to external and internal justification since it involves using the best method to gain acceptance of the individual.


Aronson, E., Wilson, T. D., & Akert, R. M. (2010). Social Psychology (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Goldstein E. Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research and Everyday Experience. Stamford, Connecticut: Cengage Learning, 2010.