Article

Are depressed individuals more susceptible to cognitive dissonance?

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Abstract

Compared to nondepressed individuals, depressed individuals generally show more guilt, more indecisiveness, and less ability to trivialize negative events, each of which predicts greater susceptibility to cognitive dissonance manipulations. Thus, depressed individuals may be more prone to dissonance effects. This study tested this depression-dissonance question using a roleplaying hypocrisy-induction paradigm in which high- and low-depressed participants read about others who behaved inconsistently with their own ideals to high or low degree. Only highdepressed (and not low-depressed) participants showed the dissonance effect, that is, only highdepressed participants' feelings of discomfort rose from low- to high-inconsistency conditions. Implications are discussed for psychotherapy.

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... Indeed, Stalder et al (2014) reason that individuals with depression may be more sensitive to dissonance induction than non-depressed individuals. In their study, the authors reason that depressed individuals tend to show more guilt, more indecisiveness, and less ability to trivialize negative events, each of which is predictive of elevated feelings of dissonance. ...
... High-depressed participants were also less able to trivialise. Quantitative study, Questionnaire-based data collection, CES-D, BMI, Story compositions (Stalder, 2010), Discomfort measure (Stalder et al, 2014), Trivialisation measure (Stalder et al, 2014) Three-way Analysis of variance (3-way ANOVA -Story X Inconsistency X Depression) Patients with the best therapeutic outcome showed a significant reduction in self-identity related conflicts (implicative dilemmas) Mixed methods study, Questionnaire based data: BDI (Beck Depression Inventory), RGT (Repertory Grid Technique), Interview based data: SCID-I (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis 1), 'Client Change Interview', Innovative Moments Coding System'. ...
... High-depressed participants were also less able to trivialise. Quantitative study, Questionnaire-based data collection, CES-D, BMI, Story compositions (Stalder, 2010), Discomfort measure (Stalder et al, 2014), Trivialisation measure (Stalder et al, 2014) Three-way Analysis of variance (3-way ANOVA -Story X Inconsistency X Depression) Patients with the best therapeutic outcome showed a significant reduction in self-identity related conflicts (implicative dilemmas) Mixed methods study, Questionnaire based data: BDI (Beck Depression Inventory), RGT (Repertory Grid Technique), Interview based data: SCID-I (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis 1), 'Client Change Interview', Innovative Moments Coding System'. ...
Thesis
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Depression is a debilitating mental health problem in which inner conflict plays a major role. How a person experiences and resolves inner conflict has been well developed in cognitive dissonance theory. The use of dissonance theory has remained mostly limited to the field of social psychology and the link between depression and dissonance theory is largely unexplored. By researching the application of cognitive dissonance theory to experiences of individuals with depression it may be possible to expand our understanding of depression. The overall aim of this study was to explore how the process of depression might be related to the mechanism of cognitive dissonance. The objectives of the study were: to identify and compare episodes of cognitive dissonance in two participant groups (depressed and nondepressed), to analyse how different elements of cognitive dissonance are experienced by participants, and finally to develop a conceptual model that illustrates the potential relationship between depression and dissonance.
... The stage of ongoing processing of incongruence described above could be identified as preoccupation. Festinger (1962) as well as Stalder and Anderson (2014) point out that every person experiences CD and that only a high amount of CD is critical for mental health. If a certain threshold of CD is crucial, this might also mean that the amount of preoccupation is relevant in determining if it is pathological or not. ...
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... However, under such pandemic-specific context and increasing uncertainties, there was always irrational dissonance between individuals' attitudes and behaviors, literally cognitive dissonance. While most existing studies examined the associations between cognitive dissonance and chronic psychopathologies (Prinstein and Aikins, 2004;Stalder and Anderson, 2014), this study reveals that such dissonance is associated with an elevated level of acute PTSS. However, no significant correlation was found for cognitive dissonance with PTG, which is inconsistent with a prior study (Occhipinti et al., 2015). ...
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