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cognitive dissonance

noun, Psychology
anxiety that results from simultaneously holding contradictory or otherwise incompatible attitudes, beliefs, or the like, as when one likes a person but disapproves strongly of one of his or her habits.
Origin of cognitive dissonance
1960-65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cognitive dissonance
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  • One of the classic defence mechanisms is the cognitive dissonance.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
British Dictionary definitions for cognitive dissonance

cognitive dissonance

(psychol) an uncomfortable mental state resulting from conflicting cognitions; usually resolved by changing some of the cognitions
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cognitive dissonance

1957, developed and apparently coined by U.S. social psychologist Leon Festinger (1919-1989).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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