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

The cognitive dissonance only continued from there. Devon Maloney, The Verge, "Hollywood had a breakdown trying to justify itself at the 2018 Emmys," 18 Sep. 2018 My love of football does sort of endure, which is not to say that the cognitive dissonances are not very, very strong and very, very growing. Eric Johnson, Recode, "‘The NFL is like a drug lord and football is like crack,’ says ‘Big Game’ author Mark Leibovich," 10 Sep. 2018 Like all of us, Pusha is a victim of his own cognitive dissonance. Josie Duffy Rice, The Atlantic, "The Gospel According to Pusha T," 12 July 2018 Kennedy was always a conservative, but his tenure was marked by a cognitive dissonance about his ideological leanings and by the Court’s own persistent march to the right. Andrew Cohen, The New Republic, "Anthony Kennedy Was No Moderate," 27 June 2018 My students, encountering Drayton for the first time, often have a moment of cognitive dissonance. Aziz Huq, Vox, "The latest Supreme Court decision is being hailed as a big victory for digital privacy. It’s not.," 22 June 2018 Raniere also stressed that departing members were under the sway of the scientific principle of cognitive dissonance. Vanessa Grigoriadis, New York Times, "The ‘Sex Cult’ That Preached Empowerment," 30 May 2018 Walker unearths another near-miracle of cognitive dissonance in his investigation of the Gulag archipelago, which remains outside the purview of Russian national memory. Sophie Pinkham, The New Republic, "Why have post-Soviet countries embraced populism and nostalgia?," 3 May 2018 This frustrating cognitive dissonance — loyalty to a show that has never done right by people who look like you — is learned from every aspect of a culture intent on ghettozing stories by and about people of color. Hunter Harris,, "Sex And The City," 6 June 2018

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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Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

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The first known use of cognitive dissonance was in 1957

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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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