cognitive dissonance

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State of psychological tension arising from incompatibility among a person's attitudes, behavior, beliefs, and/or knowledge, or when a choice has to be made between equally attractive or repulsive alternatives. One example is 'buyer's remorse,' a feeling of guilt associated with doubts about the advisability of a purchase decision that one experiences after making an expensive purchase. Marketers try to manage these doubts with supportive information such as testimonials, money-back guaranties, and after-sales service. Opposite of cognitive consonance.

Use 'cognitive dissonance' in a Sentence

When deciding whether to accept a new, more challenging job offer, cognitive dissonance resulted in Jay lying awake at night as he pondered the possibility of making a change of employment.
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Marketers and copywriters of often try to create cognitive dissonance with their prospects when creating their content to pull them in.
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Fran's therapist had finally made her realize that the cognitive dissonance between her unending pursuit of extra hours at work versus her continual complaining of excess stress in her life was the reason that she felt so unhappy.
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