Cognitive Dissonance Theory

Please Reply to the following 2 Discussion posts:




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Attachment Theory

The theory selected for this discussion is the Attachment Theory developed by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. Attachment theory emphasized the bonds and relationships between people, specifically babies and their caregivers (Cherry, 2019). Some behavioral theorists suggested that attachment was a learned behavior, but Bowlby believed that it is a behavioral and motivation pattern (Cherry, 2019). The format for this theory could be written as an attachment (concept A) progresses through (proposition) different stages (concept B) consisting of secure, avoidant, and resistant. In other words, the baby’s attachment to the caregiver is being developed through different stages. Attachment is concept A and different stages are concept B.

behavioral system

Both of these concepts have a relationship (proposition) as it progresses or is developed. According to Spies and Duschinsky (2021), Bowlby and Ainsworth theorized that “children are predisposed to develop an attachment behavioral system, which directs them to seek the availability of their familiar caregiver or caregivers when alarmed or separated” (p. 1). Ainsworth went on to describe the babies’ attachment to caregivers caused different behaviors in babies when they were put in strange situations (Spies & Duschinsky, 2021).

In strange situations, babies undergo brief separation and reunion with their caregivers. Based on the observation, babies are more secure and more willing to move away from their caregivers when they know the caregivers are available and standing close by within their proximity. Whereas babies would show avoidant behavior by directing their attention away from the caregivers or resistant behavior by displaying distress and frustration if they do not see their caregivers and later reunited (Spies & Duschinsky, 2021).

The term secures used in the context of Attachment theory by the authors could be confusing because if the babies were secured, they would not look for their caregiver to make sure the caregivers are in proximity. The term secures understood by the general public would mean that someone does not need the presence of another person.





Cognitive Dissonance Theory


The non-nursing theory I chose to illustrate is Leon Festinger’s Cognitive Dissonance theory.


This theory refers to the mental discomfort that results when the mind holds two conflicting beliefs.

Concept A is that at times the mind holds two conflicting beliefs.

Concept B is the presence of mental discomfort.

The proposition is that concept A results in the occurrence of concept B.

mental discomfort

Leon Festinger proposed that people desire consistency and that when values, beliefs, actions, or attitudes conflict, create mental discomfort. (Cherry, 2020)

A good example of this is the tremendous feelings of upset people have, due to being required to get the Covid 19 vaccine or wear a mask in order to participate in activities or work when they have the belief that vaccines are dangerous or that masks are unnecessary.  Another example of this theory in action is when people choose to believe that the news is “fake” when it doesn’t correlate with what they already believe to be true.

I find myself a victim of altering my perspective to create mental consistencies by justifying why I made a choice was either necessary or “worth it”. I know I need to save money for an upcoming tax bill; however, I chose to purchase something new. I justify the expense by telling myself what a good deal it was, and I may never have that good of a price in the future.


The Oxford language dictionary defines the term dissonance means a lack of harmony among musical notes. (Fowler & Fowler, n.d.) Cognitive refers to some mental action. The term dissonance on its own does not readily relate to mental action. However, when the two terms are put together the concept of mental disharmony becomes clearer.

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