The
Definition Of

Cognitive dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is the buyer discomfort caused by post purchase conflict.

After the purchase, consumers are satisfied with the benefits of the chosen brand and are glad to avoid the drawbacks of the brands not bought. However, every purchase involves compromise. So consumers feel uneasy about acquiring the drawbacks of the chosen brand and about losing the benefits of the brands not purchased. Thus, consumers feel at least some post purchase dissonance for every purchase.

Cognitive Dissonance means internal state that results when individuals notice inconsistency between two or more of their attitudes or between their attitudes and their behavior.


Cognitive dissonance is a kind of balance theory proposed by the American psychologist Leon Festinger; the theory states that because we have a powerful drive towards consistency (or consonance), if we hold two psychologically inconsistent cognitions (beliefs, attitudes, values or ideas) at the same time, or if our behaviour clashes with those cognitions, we will be in an unpleasant state of tension which we are strongly motivated to reduce. As the theory deals with psychological rather than logical inconsistency, it proposes that we are not so much concerned with actually being consistent as with feeling that we are consistent.

Share it:

More from this Section

  • Life time value
    Life time value is the net present value of the revenue stream for any particular customer over a number of years.
  • Passionate (or romantic) love
    Passionate (or romantic) love represents a state of intense absorption in someone that includes intense physiological arousal, psychological
  • Generalized other
    Generalized other is the attitudes, viewpoints, and expectations of society as a whole that a child takes into account in his or her behavior.
  • reaction time
    The time elapsed between the presentation of a stimulus and the subject's response to it is called reaction time.
  • Horopter
    When both eyes are fixated on the same point, the horopter is the locus of all the points in the external world whose images stimulate corresponding
  • Captive product pricing
    Captive product pricing— setting a price for products that must be used along with a main product, such as blade for razor, games for a videogame console and printer cartridges.
  • Environmental psychology
    Environmental psychology considers the relationship between people and psychological