—Cognitive dissonance occurs when one’s belief is
contradicting with the behavior, according to Festinger’s
cognitive dissonance theory. Hence, in smokers’ case, knowing
cigarettes will cause harm on their health yet they are smoking,
will induce the psychological discomfort. In this qualitative
research with six (6) smokers who have at least five years of
smoking experiences and have attempted to quit smoking before,
it is found that cognitive dissonance could be a motivation for
change. Influences from living environments and own
psychological desires cause the dissonance to take place, and
negative feelings such as bad, miserable, guilty and numbness
were evidences for the psychological discomfort. Smokers avoid
and ignore information, change their belief to align with their
smoking behavior and use various defense mechanisms as
dissonance reduction strategies in this phenomenon. Selfdetermination
is said to be the key in changing behavior instead
of belief, without self- determination, participants were more
likely to change belief rather than quit smoking.
—Cognitive dissonance, motivation,
Daisy Jane C. Orcullo is with the College of Arts and Sciences, Universiti
Utara Malaysia (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Teo Hui San is with the Department of Group Human Capital, Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia (e-mail: email@example.com).
Cite: Daisy Jane C. Orcullo and Teo Hui San, " Understanding Cognitive Dissonance in Smoking Behaviour: A Qualitative Study," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 6, no. 6, pp. 481-484, 2016.