New horizons on cognitive dissonance: Recent developments, integrative models and research opportunities

Theoretical notes
By Alexandre Bran, David C. Vaidis

Cognitive consistencies theories have experienced several recent developments putting cognitive dissonance theory at the core of many debates. Some discussions re-examine the axioms of the theory and some new models suggest its integration in broader frameworks. In order to give a complete overview on these new perspectives, we will develop four important models from the last decade: the Meaning Maintenance Model, the General Process Model of Threat and Defense, the Expectancy-Value Model and the psycho-logical model of inconsistencies. All these new models involve cognitive dissonance theory, either by integrating, reinterpreting or completing it. Consequently, these new perspectives are likely to influence its future developments. In the first part, we present these models by focusing on their contributions and limits for the cognitive dissonance theory. In the second part, we discuss the many research questions, both new and old, that still need investigations.

  • cognitive dissonance
  • meaning maintenance model
  • consistency
  • inconsistency
  • cognitive conflict
  • theorization
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