As we grow up there are decisions that we are forced to make. Managing the consequences are for the worst or could be to someone’s advantage. During the cognitive process of deciding if the decision that we made is even worth it , we have to reassure ourselves self into saying that “It’s all going to work out.” Festinger’s Cognitive Dissonance Theory explains that there are cognitive thoughts that we use to understand certain ideas or situations. And to a degree we can use this as advantage to shed light to the situation. Dissonance theory is on the other hand a Balance theory, a way to level out the big bad picture.
In April of 2011, I experienced one of the worlds wonders ,I gave birth to my first son. I was a20 year old new mother finishing my 2nd year of college. At the time my Mother was dealing with Breast Cancer and the death of her best friend her grandmother. May 28 ,2011 my mother passed away with her family all by her side. The moment she went on to heaven, I soon realized that I had to wear the shoes of my mother and be the Woman of the house. My 16 year old sister, the household bills, rent, and other items were a few more responsilbites that I had to add on to my infinite list things to take care of. I felt so overwhelmed. Why did this happen to me? I couldn’t handle all of this by myself. It was as if I was thrown in to the Lion’s Den and was expected to live. How could this situation possibly get any better?? Yes, this is all cliché but it was true. I look back on my life and compare it to the Dissonance Theory. You can say it was one of those moments in life where the ugliest situation can grow into a beautiful experience. Over time the theory made since to my life. “Dissonance theory tells us that dissonance is an unpleasant motivating state (a disagreeable feeling) which encourages attitude change to achieve consonance, thereby reducing our unpleasant feeling…dissonance theory is similar to (the)balance theory.” Consistency Theories of Attitude Change, pg.170) Becoming the woman of the house was something I was Not ready for. Hell, I still haven’t had the moment to morn my mother. But all those years of my mother teaching me and showing me how to become a respectable and humble woman had to kick into gear. As I compare my life to the Dissonance theory, I can understand where the dissonance fell into place of my situation. The dissonance was that I had to deal with all the aspects that came with moving on in the position that was placed upon me. How could all of this be used as advantage? My personal life would have to be on hold for my family. As I view more into the side of realizing that there were more important things that I had to sacrifice really formed me into a great and powerful woman.” I have experienced the world in a whole different light that most of my peers will never have the chance to experience. Changing my whole attitude and perception on the situation .Working so hard to find the balance between what was more important took a while for me to grasp . You never know what path have to go down because it is a lesson meant for you. In class we used these concepts with going to Harvard vs. IPFW . What school would have a better advantage for me? To a certain degree we had to keep in mind if the school we chose would actually work out with our current lives and could it even better it. To be honest , this school kept me in the right mind to continue my education. There where time where I felt that school was not for me. The change of my attitude came from weight out the two thoughts. If I were to drop out, what would be my options for a better salary? Would I really throw away four years of college? This is a decision that will affect both of my sons ( in the midst of dealing with life I became pregnant with my 2nd son, 26th of March is his birthday.) I cannot afford to be selfish. This is where this theory has hit me hard. I have to keep pushing on for my family, even for me. The advantage would be that I went through so much that I was not ready for and still came out a College graduate.
“Dissonance theory considers all of the relevant thoughts at once, taking into account both the proportion and the importance of consistent (consonant) and inconsistent (dissonant) thoughts. Balance theory and congruity theory can consider only one idea.”(Consistency Theories of Attitude Change, pg.171)