“Let us say you ordered a watch online. The picture of the watch looked good (it looked like it had a curved glass and the dial had a silvery sheen) and it was available at a very affordable price. A few days later, the watch was delivered, and you opened the box with great expectations. You were hoping to find a watch that looked as classy as the one you had seen in the pictures. But when you unwrapped the box and opened it, you realized that the real watch didn’t look as good as its pictures. The dial was off-white and glass was plain. You realize that the pictures must have been touched up as the watch was the same model that you had ordered. Fortunately despite its not-as-good-as-expected looks, it still was a deal at the price you bought it.
So you tell yourself, that the watch is from a good brand, and that you anyway wanted a robust watch and not a flimsy wrist-candy.
When you engage in this behavior, you are trying to curb the cognitive dissonance that has arisen out of two conflicting ideas in your mind.”
Understanding cognitive dissonance and its impact on learning can prepare us to handle it in our classrooms and online courses. The following links will take you to a series of three posts:
- Understanding Cognitive Dissonance – Explanation and Illustration
- Cognitive Dissonance in Classrooms and Other Learning Environments
- Cognitive Dissonance and Other Instructional Design Principles