Explorations in Cognitive Dissonance

By Jack W. Brehm; Arthur R. Cohen | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Dissonance theory and the study of personality 9

An additional set of insights into the general usefulness of the dissonance formulation may be gained by exploring the implications of the theory for research in personality and clinical psychology. At least two facets of this problem are relevant to our general discussion: (1) Does dissonance theory provide some guidelines for a new perspective with regard to some of the classical personality problems like defense mechanisms, and, if so, what assumptions must be made in order to use the theory? (2) What assumptions must the theory make about individual differences, that is, how does the theory view the problem of individual differences? We will take this questions up in that order in the preset section.


In a paper aimed at clinical psychologist, Festinger and Bramel ( 1962) discuss in the detail use of the defensive projection as means of dissonance reduction. It will have been noted by now that there is a similarity between certain "defense mechanisms" discussed by psychoanalytic theory and certain avenues of dissonance reduction. Certain dissonance-reduction mechanisms appear to look very much like "rationalization" or "defensive denial," for example.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Explorations in Cognitive Dissonance


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 334

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?