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Topic : Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
7) What do you understand by cognitive dissonance? Discuss examples of civil servants facing such a dissonance.(250 words)
Why this question:
The question is to analyse the concept of cognitive dissonance and its applicability in public services.
Key demand of the question:
Discuss briefly what you understand by cognitive dissonance, why is it necessary to reduce cognitive dissonance. Provide for some examples /case studies where civil servants have faced dissonance and what is ideal to be done in such situations.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
Brief upon importance of cognitive dissonance and control necessary over it.
First provide for theory of cognitive dissonance – as presented by Festinger. That Cognitive dissonance is a sense of internal anxiety that is experienced when a person holds two inconsistent cognitions.
Discuss how No individual can completely avoid dissonance. So people have to cope with dissonance.
According to Festinger, the desire to reduce dissonance would be determined by the importance of the elements creating the dissonance; the degree of influence the individual believes he or she has over the elements and the rewards that may be involved in dissonance.
Such answers are best explained with examples – A police officer who believes in nonviolence has to take decision of Lathi charge or using pellet guns to disperse crowd faces such cognitive dissonance.
Conclude with significance and necessity of values such as high emotional intelligence, high morals to overcome situations of cognitive dissonance.