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Cognitive distortions and cognitive dissonance are psychological concepts that involve different aspects of human thinking and perception. Cognitive distortions refer to irrational, biased, or skewed thought patterns that can lead to negative emotions and behaviors. These distortions, often seen in conditions like anxiety and depression, involve cognitive processes such as overgeneralization, black-and-white thinking, or catastrophizing, where individuals perceive reality inaccurately, reinforcing negative beliefs about themselves or the world. On the other hand, cognitive dissonance refers to the discomfort experienced when a person simultaneously holds conflicting beliefs, attitudes, or values. This mental tension pushes individuals to resolve the inconsistency by altering their thoughts or behaviors. While cognitive distortions involve flawed thinking patterns, cognitive dissonance revolves around the psychological discomfort stemming from conflicting beliefs or actions, highlighting the intricate workings of the human mind and its constant pursuit of harmony and consistency.
When we understand the difference between the two and our need for dissonance in some areas, we can develop a tool that improves our quality of life.
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