cognitive dissonance


Definition of cognitive dissonance

: psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously

Examples of cognitive dissonance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Happily, the motion picture industry has hit upon a solution to liberals’ cognitive dissonance. Graham Hillard, Washington Examiner, "Black Jesus," 1 Apr. 2021 All Stars LA, there was a bit of a cognitive dissonance. Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report, "Here’s What All 17 ‘Top Chef’ Winners Are Doing Now," 1 Apr. 2021 Indeed, there’s a kind of cognitive dissonance at play in the Texas right’s claim that the sole reason for the state’s political shift is wayward Californians. Casey Michel, The New Republic, "The Republican Poseurs Who Claim to Be True Texans," 30 Mar. 2021 To count on broad opposition to Amazon right now is to assume such cognitive dissonance: that Americans may increasingly rely on Amazon and view it favorably while also believing that the company needs to change. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "The Amazon Union Drive and the Changing Politics of Labor," 25 Mar. 2021 In an American imagination that has historically stereotyped Black people as alternately ignorant and emotional or sexualized and cool, the nerd — smart and cerebral, unsexy and decidedly uncool — creates cognitive dissonance. New York Times, "The Black Nerds Redefining the Culture," 24 Mar. 2021 This kind of reaction is based on a general fatigue as well as a cognitive dissonance. Tracy Brower, Forbes, "Why You’re (Still) Exhausted And How To Get Through," 28 Feb. 2021 For working parents, such cognitive dissonance is not unique to this year. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "These Mothers Wanted to Care for Their Kids and Keep Their Jobs. Now They're Suing After Being Fired," 3 Mar. 2021 Plus, there's something about the cognitive dissonance of seeing something in a new or unexpected context that makes a space feel extra special and innovative. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "The Bedroom Tub: It's Controversial, But That's Why I Love It," 1 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cognitive dissonance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cognitive dissonance

1957, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for cognitive dissonance

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The first known use of cognitive dissonance was in 1957

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Statistics for cognitive dissonance

Last Updated

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cognitive dissonance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for cognitive dissonance

cognitive dissonance


Medical Definition of cognitive dissonance

: psychological conflict resulting from simultaneously held incongruous beliefs and attitudes (as a fondness for smoking and a belief that it is harmful)

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