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University of Toronto Mississauga
Political Science
Spyridon Kotsovilis

Robert Jervis. Perception and Misperception in International Politics. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976), ch. 11. Two elements will be dissonance if, the counterpart of one element would follow from the other, according to Robert Jervis; or simply, if two non-compatible elements are working together. Cognitive dissonance theory is when dissonance is present, and the person would rearrange his or her beliefs, or search out additional supporting evidence in order to justify his or her decision and reduce the dissonance, given that the person has made the decision freely, and committed to his or her own decision. Yet, this theory can be limited as pre- or post- decision period is ambiguous to identify, whether information are coherence or dissonance. Unlike merely wishful thinking, Cognitive Dissonance Theory suggests that a person alters evaluation of alternative options, and he/or she only does it to favor made- decision, which may not necessarily be his or her preferred decision. Attempts to reduce dissonance would impact his or her future decisions, as he or she would prefer to remain as consistent as possible, and it is costly to regret a made decision. The magnitude of dissonance can vary depending on similarity and allure of the alternative option, as well as the importance of the decision. In other words, difficulty and severity of the decision can lead to greater dissonance; namely on consequential matters such as spending of resources, where decision-makers would believe large
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