Mark Pearl

Cognitive dissonance theory shows us that when our behavior doesn’t match our intentions, we feel discomfort. For example, a smoker might understand the health problems associated with smoking, yet may not choose to enter a program to help them quit smoking. When they become aware that their behavior (smoking) doesn’t match their beliefs (“smoking is bad for my health”) they feel an uncomfortable tension, known as cognitive dissonance. The more dissonance we feel, the more motivated we are to find consistency.

Wikipedia on Cognitive Dissonance Theory

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