From what I understand cognitive dissonance is a theory based around peoples need to reach internal consistency. Psychologist Leon Festinger suggested that people have an inner need to ensure that their beliefs and behaviors are consistent. Inconsistent or conflicting beliefs lead to disharmony, which people strive to avoid.
For example: Knowing that smoking is harmful, while liking to smoke.
When dealing with cognitive dissonance, people may respond in different ways.
a person might adapt by creating a new cognition.
another may adapt by changing his attitude.
And a third may adapt by changing his behavior.
Person one might create a new cognition on the harmfulness of smoking, by claiming that many people have smoked from a young age and are still healthy.
Person two might change his attitude claiming that lots of people still smoke, feeling better that he is not the only one.
Person three might change their behavior and stop smoking altogether.
I LOVE ted talks. I think they are so informative, entertaining, and most importantly, for me, engaging. I find it a lot easier to soak in 20min of information from a Ted talk, then I do reading alone. This was a great video explaining the importance of understanding cognitive dissonance, and how our brain works, so we can make more informed and effective decisions and choices.
I think it is extremely important to have an understanding of how our brain works. An understanding of what the cognitive dissonance theory is, can help us make more informed, effective, and rational decisions when dealing with conflicting thoughts with our selves. If we understand the nature of the brain, we can better reason with ourselves.