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How do human beings make decisions What triggers a person to take action at any given point These are all questions that I will attempt to answer with my theoretical research into Leon Festingers theory of cognitive dissonance as well as many of the other related theories We often do not realize the psychological events that take place in our everyday lives It is important to take notice of theories such as the balance theory the congruency theory and the cognitive dissonance theory so that ones self-persuasion occurs knowingly As psychologist and theorist gain a better understanding of Festingers cognitive dissonance theory manipulation could occur more easily than it already does in todays society Leon Festingers cognitive dissonance theory is very closely related to many of the consistency theories The first of the major consistency theories the balance theory was proposed by Fritz Heider 1946 1958 and was later revised by Theodore Newcomb 1953 Larson 1995 Heider and Newcombs theory was mostly looking at the interaction between two people interpersonally and the conflicts that arose between them When two people have conflicting opinions or tension is felt between another person it is more likely persuasion will occur Because if no tension was felt between the two parties or there were no conflicting opinions there would be no need to persuade each other If you think about it persuasion occurs only because there is tension between two facts ideas or people Charles Larson writes in his book Persuasion Reception and Responsibility another approach to the consistency theory is congruency theory by Charles Osgood and Percy Tennenbaum 1955 p82 This theory suggest that we want to have balance in our lives and there is a systematic way to numerically figure it out When two attitudes collide we must strive to strike a balance between the two attitudes The balance varies depending on the intensity we feel about
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