anxiety or discomfort that results from simultaneously holding contradictory or otherwise incompatible attitudes, beliefs, or the like, such as when someone likes a person but disapproves strongly of one of their habits.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use cognitive dissonance in a sentence
A big part of the reason is a simple psychological phenomenon called cognitive dissonance.
But when the school holds a ceremony honoring the soldiers who killed her Arab brethren, she suffers clear cognitive dissonance.
The European rules create cognitive dissonance: Reality refuses to line up with their convictions.
One astutely muses about cognitive dissonance among the many conservative Republicans within the 47%.
The concept of "pinkwashing," for example, had to be developed to overcome progressive cognitive dissonance.
British Dictionary definitions for 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