Cognitive Dissonance Theory and Purchases
Festinger’s Cognitive dissonance theory places emphasis on the ways in which behavior influences attitude. Individuals have a need for consistency between their attitude and behavior. In the context of the scenario of having purchased a car and after the fact coming across another which I like better, because I have already purchased a vehicle and am tied to that purchase cognitive dissonance theory predicts that I would adjust my attitude to be in line with my action or behavior of having purchased the car I like less. I would begin to create reason to justify my purchase and emphasize why the other vehicle would have not been the right decision. The level of dissonance between my purchase and feelings must be lessened so that I can feel consistency between them. I may make arguments about how the color of my purchase is more me, or how the cost factor is more economical with my purchase or how too many people have that other car.