Researchers have also studied the occurrence of

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1979). Researchers have also studied the occurrence of cognitive dissonance in decision-making situations. Assuming that two options each have positive and negative features, postdecisional dissonance is aroused when one considers the negative attributes of the chosen alternative and the positive attributes of the rejected alternative (Festinger, 1964). If I decide to visit my in-laws for Christmas instead of going to California, dissonance is aroused when I think of the relaxing time I would have lying on a California beach, and when I think of the cold climate in which my in- laws live. To resolve the dissonance I can (a) add cognitions consonant with the decision (e.g., remind myself of how much money I save by not flying to California), (b) alter the importance of a cognition (e.g., convince myself that Christmas is really a time to spend with family), or (c) change a cognition (e.g., decide that I really do not like lying on the beach all that much). The result of these efforts is that my evaluations of the two alternatives are spread apart, i.e., the chosen option is seen as more desirable, the rejected option as less desirable. Studies by Brehm (1956),
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