Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Mack C. Shelley
When a person encounters a situation, concept, or point of view that seems inconsonant with his or her own attitudes, a common consequence is cognitive dissonance, which results in feelings of discomfort, uncertainty, dislike for the dissonant situation, and a desire to resolve that discomfort. The usual way to resolve that dissonance is to try to avoid contact with dissonant stimuli by selective exposure to opportunities that might induce feelings of disquiet. Failing to avoid contact with cognitively negative elements in the environment, the process of selective perception makes it possible to ignore, or compartmentalize, the negative feelings by selecting to be attentive to available stimuli that are consistent with the person's attitudes, beliefs, and values and failing to perceive incongruent stimuli that might produce value conflict or dissonance. The cognitive ...