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Change Your People to Change Your Beliefs

Frequently, people report they believe something about themselves or hold an opinion about their world, such as with shopping, religion, politics, or science, etc. However, these beliefs are rarely held independently of comparison with beliefs of others with whom we compare our beliefs. Others or groups with whom we compare our beliefs (or opposing beliefs) provide a social context for increases or decreases in cognitive dissonance. Feeling more comfortable with a choice between mutually exclusive beliefs or behaviors, such as buying an expensive product or supporting a religious, political or scientific belief, is a decrease in dissonance. For example, to buy an expensive car with your spouse, you have four options to reduce dissonance: 1. Imagine your spouse agrees with you; 2. Imagine your spouse's opinion is not important; 3. Imagine you agree with your spouse; 4. Compare your decision to another or group who agrees you. Change your people to change the intensity of your beliefs.

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