cognitive dissonance


: psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously

Examples of cognitive dissonance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Supporters of Musk rationalize his controversial behavior as necessary for the greater good, reducing cognitive dissonance. Grace Lordan, Fortune, 13 Sep. 2023 Harris went on to express his cognitive dissonance over how artists like Kacey Musgraves, Jason Isbell and Tyler Childers held liberal views. Chris Willman, Variety, 15 Aug. 2023 The standstill steakhouse decorated in oil relics and owned by fossil fuel billionaires feels trapped in a cognitive dissonance regarding Dallas' history and its future. Amanda Albee, Chron, 17 Apr. 2023 The moment seemed to highlight the cognitive dissonance that has run alongside Israel’s mammoth protest movement. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 11 Aug. 2023 These comments create some cognitive dissonance, because Olyphant, despite some gray hair, doesn’t come off as a day older. Mike Hale, New York Times, 17 July 2023 The term cognitive dissonance was coined by psychologist Leon Festinger in 1957. Erica Sweeney, Men's Health, 23 Mar. 2023 In some cases, cognitive dissonance can have a positive effect, though, Tzall says. Erica Sweeney, Men's Health, 23 Mar. 2023 What cognitive dissonance is gripping fashion right now? Véronique Hyland, ELLE, 13 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cognitive dissonance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1957, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cognitive dissonance was in 1957

Dictionary Entries Near cognitive dissonance

Cite this Entry

“Cognitive dissonance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Medical Definition

cognitive dissonance

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

More from Merriam-Webster on cognitive dissonance

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