Cognitive Dissonance

By Renée Grinnell

In the field of social psychology, the uncomfortable state of entertaining two contradictory ideas at the same time.

Example: Members of a religious cult decide that the world will end on a certain date. The day passes uneventfully, and group members come up with several defensive explanations for their incorrect prediction.

    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Nov 2008