Attitude Change and Cognitive Consistency

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Human attitudes are influenced by a motivation to be consistent. For example, if students write essays supporting a tuition increase before their tuition actually increases, they typically report more positive attitudes toward the change. When attitudes shift in order to be more consistent with behavior, this shift may reflect an underlying desire to reduce an inconsistent state known as ‘cognitive dissonance.’ Although this phenomenon has been studied extensively in social psychology, its neural mechanisms remain unknown. Recently, social neuroscience studies have begun to shed light on the neural bases of attitude change following cognitive inconsistency. These studies have implicated several brain regions, including the posterior medial frontal cortex, anterior insula, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBrain Mapping
Subtitle of host publicationAn Encyclopedic Reference
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-397316-0
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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