Religion Past and Present

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Cognitive Dissonance
(352 words)

[German Version]

Developed by Leon Festinger in 1957, the theory of cognitive dissonance is one of the most important and influential theories of social psychology, and has since inspired thousands of studies. The theory claims that human beings go to great lengths to preserve a balance in their opinions, attitudes, and values. When this harmony is disturbed (e.g. the predilection for eggs by evidence that cholesterol may represent a health risk), the individual endeavors to reduce the dissonance. He may change his eat…

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Bucher, Anton, “Cognitive Dissonance”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 12 December 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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