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What is Cognitive Dissonance Theory

Encyclopedia of Healthcare Information Systems
A theory that discusses how the tension that may result from having two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with one’s beliefs, or from experiencing apparently conflicting phenomena, can impact actions and/or decision-making.
Published in Chapter:
Definition and Measurement of the Technology Readiness Concept
Maria Teresa Martín (Rey Juan Carlos University, Spain), Maria Victoria Román (Rey Juan Carlos University, Spain), and Manuel Recio (University of Almería, Spain)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-889-5.ch052
During the last few decades, various theoretical developments have been carried out with a view to describing the characteristic and distinct behavioral process that lies under any adoption of technological services and products. These developments are based mainly on the Social Psychology approach. There are three extensive theories within the field of Social Psychology whose ultimate purpose has been to define the internal psychological factors that explain human behavior: the Expectancy-Value Theory, the Cognitive Dissonance Theory, and the Self-Perception Theory. While the Expectancy-Value Theory has been used widely in the research of adoption and usage of information systems, the other two theories have been less recognized.
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User Resistance to Health Information Technology
The theory suggests that when there exists a “lack of fit” of cognitions, a state of discomfort called dissonance is aroused, triggering a reaction to reduce it.
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