Cognitive Dissonance Examples and Effects

Data were collected between April 2012 and December 2014 in four addiction treatment centres. The study was approved by the internal review boards of all participating health‐care centres and the research board of the Nijmegen Institute for Scientist‐Practitioners in Addiction. Given the high prevalence of cognitive impairments, standard screening at an early stage of treatment is important to determine the course of treatment and maximise treatment outcome. Caution is needed in interpreting results about opioids due to an underrepresentation of this patient group, and more research is needed on the effect of age on Montreal Cognitive Assessment performance. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment was administered to outpatients seeking treatment for substance use disorder. Patient characteristics (age, years of regular use, polysubstance use, severity of dependence/abuse, depression, anxiety and stress) were also taken into account.

cognitive dissonance and addiction

The GABA B agonist baclofen, known to reduce dopamine release118, was shown to blunt the mesolimbic activation triggered by 33 msec cocaine cues presented outside conscious awareness119. The ability of brief “unseen” drug cues to trigger motivational circuitry120,121 offers a paradigm for screening the ability of candidate medications to impact precognition, complementing conventional self-reports of conscious motivational (“craving”) states. The brain regions and neural processes that underlie addiction overlap extensively with those that support cognitive functions, including learning, memory, and reasoning. Drug activity in these regions and processes during early stages of abuse foster strong maladaptive associations between drug use and environmental stimuli that may underlie future cravings and drug-seeking behaviors. With continued drug use, cognitive deficits ensue that exacerbate the difficulty of establishing sustained abstinence.

Beach House’s Clinical Modalities for Addiction Treatment

Cognitive alterations and deficits that are observed in substance-use disorders contribute directly and indirectly to the overall tremendous public health burden that these disorders place on society. Broadly, drug and alcohol use in human populations exists on a continuum3,4 ranging from non-pathological to levels of substance use diagnosed as a mental health disorder in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders5. Here, we discuss cognitive changes that are on the spectrum where drug use already represents a disorder.

  • MET adopts several social cognitive as well as Rogerian principles in its approach and in keeping with the social cognitive theory, personal agency is emphasized.
  • There is, however, ample evidence of impairments in the memory domain 28, and impairments are also found after short‐term abstinence in executive functioning, such as verbal fluency, inhibition and decision‐making.
  • Similar findings in early studies with human smokers were not conclusive, because the study participants were smokers who had received nicotine following a period of abstinence.

This can prompt people to adopt certain defense mechanisms when they have to confront it. Read on to learn more about cognitive dissonance, including examples, signs a person might be experiencing it, causes, and how to resolve it. Neuroscience research with animals is elucidating how the brain constructs and maintains the neural networks that support learning. One process identified, long-term potentiation (LTP), has features that parallel key aspects of learning. Understanding these factors can be beneficial in addressing and managing cognitive dissonance during the recovery journey.

How Does Cognitive Dissonance Affect the Recovery Process?

And someothers are complex, higher-order cognitive skills, just not the ones that the testprimarily intends to measure. For example, participants performing a decision-makingtest need to recruit basic attention and memory skills to process the task stimuliand remember instructions. When making decisions, some participants may use workingmemory strategies to “hold online” options with better reward values, whereas othersmay employ response inhibition skills to withhold responses driven by past immediateoutcomes or predicted rewards.

The cognitive dissonance is effectively wiped clean by changing how they feel towards their addiction. Someone spiraling into addiction knows that what they are doing isn’t good for them on some level. Still, they find substance abuse a more comfortable path because it blocks unwanted ideas, feelings, and responsibilities. The discriminant validity analysis is to verify whether there is a statistical difference between two different constructs. The items in different constructs should cognitive dissonance and addiction not be highly correlated, and if they are (0.85 or higher), it means that these items are measuring the same thing, which often happens when the definitions of the constructs overlap excessively. In this study, a rigorous AVE method was used to evaluate the discriminant validity, and as per Fornell and Larcker [89], the square root of each factor’s AVE must be greater than the correlation coefficients of each pair of variables, indicating that the factors have discriminant validity.


While research has focused on the light side factors that influence user engagement and retention, the research on the dark side of discontinuous usage intention of pan-entertainment mobile live broadcast platform users is in a research gap. Therefore, more research is needed on the specific antecedents that drive discontinuous usage intention of users of pan-entertainment mobile live broadcast platforms. Filling these research gaps can help to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of pan-entertainment mobile live broadcast platforms on users and the entertainment industry and can be useful for platform operators to improve their services and retain their users. Several models of addiction address cognitive impairments that either predispose a person to addiction or result from drug exposure. For example, Goldstein and Volkow11 proposed a model in which disrupted cortical top-down processes are a result of prefrontal cortex (PFC) dysfunction that leads to impaired response inhibition and salience attribution (iRISA)12,13.

The other half, however, given insufficient justification (only $1) for their behavior, experienced dissonance between the knowledge that the task was boring and the reality that they were misleading a fellow participant into believing it was interesting. “Rather than experience the painful feelings of believing one thing but saying another, these individuals actually changed their opinion and convinced themselves that the task was actually very interesting. In other words, their attitude was shaped by their behavior (lying)” (Cooper and Carlsmith, 2002).

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