Who has ever thought of applying cognitive dissonance in the field of advertising? Is it a challenging ordeal? Holding more disagreeing cognition based on ideas, believes or values can sometime be confusing. While considering a state of dissonance, individuals seem to feel disequilibrium, anxiety, and guilt, embarrassed among other forms. Individuals should have a motivational determination to lessen dissonance by altering the existent cognitions. This approach has been identified to work in diverse fields in influencing or engaging individuals in diverse perspectives. For instance, cognitive dissonance theory has been identified to play an essential role in the advertising field. It is employed in distressing mental state that individuals feel while getting themselves influenced by some aspects when engaging in activities that they are unaware of. The main purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate the relationship between the theory and the everyday communication practices that humans engage in. More specifically, this paper will provide a basic understanding on the application of the cognitive dissonance theory in advertising field and how it reflects to personal experience. The three main areas the paper will discuss include understanding cognitive theory and how it is applied, personal understanding of the theory and how the principles of cognitive dissonance will be applicable to the field of advertising.
Basic understanding of cognitive dissonance theory and its applications
Cognitive dissonance theory mainly tries to illustrate human behavior through advocating that individuals have a bias to pursue consonance concerning their prospects and reality. According to Festinger, individuals involved in procedures designated as dissonance reduction that can be attained in either lowering the significance of one of the discordant factors, addition consonant essentials or changing one of the discordant factors. The bias is presumed on otherwise puzzling, unreasonable as well as destructive behavior (Chandler & Munday, 2011).
In advertising, it is presumed that there is a theory that a consumer can employ a certain product since he or she considers the advertising for that product, which asserts that the product is the more actual of its approach in the job that it does. At this point, the consumer can realize that advertisement of the competitor seems to prove convincingly that this competitive product is better, and this aspect creates dissonance. At this particular point, the consumer must now release the uncomfortable feeling that the dissonance conveys and will habitually do so through switching products or services advertised. The theory in this case plays as a double-edged sword, though, since while advertisers need to generate dissonance for nonusers of their product, they do not want to generate it for those individuals that use their product. This is essentially why most of the advertisers include their logos on items like sports arenas. This is because they want one to become loyal to their distinct brand. Similarly, this will generate distrust during the time that a person sees the same product regardless of the apparent better product advocated from dissimilar and unfamiliar product (Southwest Education Council for Journalism/Mass Communications, 1985). Cognitive dissonance in most cases takes place after the buying of an expensive element like an automobile. In this perspective, a consumer who is undergoing cognitive dissonance after buying can seem to return the product or can ask regarding positive information concerning it to justify the decision that has been presumed. Similarly, if the buyer is incapable of validating the purchase, he will as well be less expected to purchase that product again. Most of the advertisers of high-priced long-lasting goods say that almost half of their advertising is depicted to assure consumers that purchasing their product is simply the right choice was made (Spangenberg, Sprott & Smith, 2003).
Regardless the fact that the vast majority of individuals will assert that they do not like the intrusion of selling, when pushed, they can still accept that they do not know how to sell more. Thus, the aspect can as well be identified to some sellers who do not need to advertize in order to sell. Selling and advertising is a very bumpy procedure for most individuals, and most people does not engage in this process because they feel uncomfortable more especially selling. In brief, core affiliated discomfort is always regarded as fear of rejection and inordinate hope that the probable customer can figure out that a better solution can be in place. For the individuals that have struggled on the sales and advertising battle at any given time, it is very clear that prospects may not figure it out when employing this particular theory. This means that if one does not like to deal with it, he may not overcome this particular feeling (Tremblay, 2005). Everything incorporated in sales and marketing regardless of the subtly or directly is trying to convince a particular person or a certain group to make buy some products or brands, or maybe make a distinct specific action. Thus, for one to venture in that effectively, persuasion must be employed upon them to create believe that using the product or service is the right decision or option in that context. Cognitive dissonance plays a vital role in convincing these individuals to purchasing the products because of the belief that those products are presumed as the best explain the issues that need to be solved. Based on this theory, it does not only give a solution to some problems, but also the prospect to come to the inference that it is offering the best products compare to the competitor. This equally happens while advertising (Southwest Education Council for Journalism/Mass Communications, 1985).
How the principles of the dissonance theory articulated in the advertising field
Research and indulgent of cognitive dissonance in consumers discloses potential for rising marketing practices. Existing philosophy asserts that three fundamental conditions exist for stimulation of dissonance in purchases. This include that decision included in the purchase should be significant, like the participation a lot of money or cost incurred from psychological notion and be individually pertinent to the consumer (Marshall, State & Deuskar, 2008). The consumer must be free and have the freedom while selecting amongst the substitutes and lastly the decision engaged should be irreversible. According to Richards, when consumers undergo surprising price happenstance they adopt three diverse approaches to lessen dissonance. At that particular point, the consumers can use the approach of continuous information, can also enact a change in attitude or can get involved in trivialization process in order to make advertising effective (Richard, 2005). Consumers use the strategy of continuous information by appealing in bias and exploration of information that can enhance their prior beliefs. Alternatively, consumers can endure change in attitude like re-evaluate price in relative to external allusion prices or characteristic huge or low prices with a certain quality. Lastly, trivialization can also take place in advertising and the significance of the essentials of the dissonant association is lessen and consumer seem to belittle essence of money thus engaging in shopping and getting a better deal. When assessing advertising fields and cognitive dissonance can significantly be to describe and administer post-purchase concerns. For instance, if a consumer senses that substitute purchase can be made effective and thus making the product marketable again, he may make different assumptions towards the product (Raab, 2010).
At some point, cognitive resonance is prompted rather than determined to market products. Therefore, Hallmark in this approach pertains that an individual is enough to select the best example of a marketing approach which generates guilt in case the buyer runs for cheap card.in. The aggressive advertising and marketing confirms that the recipient equally aware that the brand has a premium price. This practice encourages the consumer to purchase the expensive cards during some special occasions. From the several other approaches, cognitive dissonance articulates an essential role as it advocates a double-edged sword, though, since while advertisers need to generate dissonance for nonusers of their product, they do not want generate it for those individuals that use their product (Young, 2011). This is essentially why most of the advertisers include their logos on things issues like sports arenas.
Most of the research concerning the cognitive dissonance considers a form of some major paradigms that illustrate keenly on how cognitive dissonance theory attributes or is advocated from dissonance. Thus, some significance research advocated by the theory has been apprehensive with the results of exposure to information unpredictable with a preceding belief. This essence illustrates on what takes place after individuals act in approaches that are varying with their prior attitudes and also what decisions do individuals make while considering the impact of effort expenditure (Festinger, 1997).
It will be heart breaking if one has not understood the theory especially after a thorough review. This paper provided a basic understanding on the application of the cognitive dissonance theory in the advertising field and how this theoretical perspective related to personal experience. The paper demonstrated the relationship between the theory and the day to day communication practices. The paper has extensively explored how dissonance is presumed to be aroused while individuals are confronted with decisive information that is varying with their beliefs. That is why people seem not to have a stand while getting to buy some products, or some come up with strategies which they employ in decision making. Thus, if the dissonance cannot be decreased through changing a person’s belief, then dissonance consequence in restoring consonance by misperception or refutation of the information while asking for support from others individuals with similar beliefs. With the available knowledge, will we be able to apply dissonance theory in our various fields? How beneficial will the application of this theory be in those fields? I will be glad if I get a testimonial on the application of the theory.
Chandler, D., & Munday, R. J. C. (2011). A dictionary of media and communication. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Festinger, L. (1997). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press.
Marshall, R., Na, W., State, G., & Deuskar, S. (2008). Endorsement Theory: How Consumers Relate to Celebrity Models. Journal Of Advertising Research, 48(4), 564-572. doi:10.2501/S0021849908080550
Oshikawa, S. (2009). Can Cognitive Dissonance Theory Explain Consumer Behavior?. Journal Of Marketing, 33(4), 44-49.
Raab, G. (2010). The psychology of marketing: Cross-cultural perspectives. Burlington, VT: Gower.
Richard, V. J. (2005). The U.S. brewing industry: Data and economic analysis. XXX: M I T Pr.
Southwest Education Council for Journalism/Mass Communications (U.S.). (1985). Southwestern mass communication journal. San Antonio, Tex: Southwest Educational Council for Journalism and Mass Communications.
Spangenberg, E. R., Sprott, D. E., & Smith, R. J. (2003). Mass-Communicated Prediction Requests: Practical Application and a Cognitive Dissonance Explanation for Self- Prophecy. Journal Of Marketing, 67(3), 47-62.
Tremblay, V. J. (2005). The U.S. brewing industry: Data and economic analysis.: M I T Pr.
Young "Sally", K. (2011). Application of the Cognitive Dissonance Theory to the Service Industry. Services Marketing Quarterly, 32(2), 96-112. doi:10.1080/15332969.2011.557602