Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable and unpleasant feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. It is a psychological term denoting the mental state in which two or more incompatible or contradictory ideas are both held to be true. The "ideas" or "cognitions" in question may include attitudes and beliefs, the awareness of one's behavior, and facts. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.
In an Agent-Based Model, cognitive dissonance can be described as a conflict between agents. Conflicts and contradictions are unpleasant for the mind, society or population as a whole, because they damage the group integrity. They lead to confusion and displeasure, while the mind wants to gain insights and pleasure.
Cognitive dissonance is the opposite of cognitive consonance.
- Wikipedia page on cognitive dissonance