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Effect of cognitive dissonance on the performance of employees in Academic

Employees working in good Institutions on one hand feel proud to be a part of a
good Organisation which deals with imparting knowledge major reasons for this
can be Good salary, Dealing with their interest field Or Being associated to a Big
brand name etc. but at the same time when they analyse their work load
(Academic+ Co-academic+ Extra Academic) and type of work i.e. quantity and
quality of work they are dealing with respect to an academic job they might find
themselves dissatisfied due to various questions that arise in their mind. For eg.
1) Is the remuneration given to them good as compared to their workload?
3) Is the remuneration given to them good as compared to corporate employees?
All these above points make them re-think on their decision. They have a lot of
complain and dissatisfaction from their jobs which develops a negative belief
about their jobs but at the same time they need to continue the job and moreover
speak positive about it which causes a dissonance in the mind of the employee.
Now they need to diminish this uncomfortable conflict between what is felt or
believed and what is happening, and thus they adjust either their situation or their
beliefs in order to make the two exist, and agree, simultaneously (Festinger, 1957).
Which requires a lot of mental effort and this mental effort hampers the
This study is being conducted to find out that in what proportion the above process
of reconciliation affects the performance of an employee in terms of quality and
amount of work? What is the impact of this mental effort on the job performance
of an employee?
Research is assumed to yield an important conclusion as it is assumed that the
process of reconciliation results in certain beliefs which restrict the performance of
the individual.
Cognitive dissonance
Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which refers to the
discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and
new information or interpretation. It therefore occurs when there is need to
accommodate new ideas, and it may be necessary for it to develop so that we
Cognitive dissonance was first defined by influential psychologist Leon Festinger
as an antecedent condition which leads to activity oriented toward dissonance

reduction (Festinger, 1957, p.3). While this seems cut and dry, the theory
expands far beyond the constraints of the definition. To explain the theory, you
must first understand the parts of its components. First is cognitive, which deals
with the mind and how one thinks or reasons. The other is dissonance, which deals
with a conflict between two things occurring at the same time.
Cognitive dissonance claims that people feel a need to diminish this
uncomfortable conflict between what is felt or believed and what is happening,
and thus they adjust either their situation or their beliefs in order to make the two
exist, and agree, simultaneously (Festinger, 1957). The way Festinger put it in his
book A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, is when feelings and facts are in
opposition, people will find -- or invent -- a way to reconcile them (as cited in
Cognitive dissonance theory has been known to play out in several ways. Leon
Festinger was the first psychologist to study cognitive dissonance around the
1950s, and his works, such as books and experiments, helped to shed light on the
ways in which humans act to decrease cognitive dissonance.
But even before Festinger was the Greek Fabulist Aesop. Aesop is credited with
the fable of The Fox and the Grapes, which was originally written for children
around 620-560 B.C. This fable is a simple, yet quintessential example of what is
meant by cognitive dissonance.
Need and Scope of the study
The studies on cognitive dissonance have been done in various fields in
management relating to consumer purchase decisions, post policy implementation,
performance of lower self and higher self etc and various new and effective
conclusions have been drawn which have helped the industry and also opened new
doors for different other studies too. Study on cognitive dissonance in the field of
academics measuring the impact on performance has yet not been conducted.
Academics is one of the fundamental field and performance of an academician
plays a strong role in the learning of many other people mainly his students and
this study will focus on the impact of cognitive dissonance on the performance of
people in this field therefore this research will yield conclusions which can be
helpful in the improvement of performance of a teacher and hence also on the
quality of work he is delivering to many others.
This study will help in understanding the level of impact of dissonance on the
performance of teachers, what is the degree of influence of cognitive dissonance in
terms of quality and quantity of work being performed and it will open up a way to
think on important steps to be taken in order to minimize the negative affects of
dissonance so that their task of imparting knowledge becomes more effective.
Objectives of the study

The main objective of the study would be to study the level of impact of
cognitive dissonance on the performance of an individual.
Finding out the basic cause of this dissonance and amount of mental effort
invested to cope with it.
Finding out ways to minimize this dissonance and enhance the performance
of an individual.
Research Methodology
It will be a descriptive research in which a questionnaire containing direct and
indirect questions which can get appropriate and useful answers will be designed
and will be delivered along with a simple instruction sheet that also asks subjects
their age and gender, to the faculties in the targeted universities and colleges who
have agreed to respond to the questionnaire through a selected administrator any
amongst them who has agreed to distribute the questionnaire.
Prior to their distribution an introductory letter from both the researcher and the
administrator will be placed in each selected subjects mailbox or mail slot asking
for their cooperation. The letters will describe the research and its importance and
the usefulness of individuals response. Finally, a contact number/mail-id will be
provided for anyone with questions or who may need assistance in completing the
questionnaire. This procedure will be pilot-tested with at least 5 to 10 volunteers
who can give a feedback to improve the procedure if required.
Once the pilot-testing procedures have been completed, any required changes in
the process will be carried out. Then the administrators will be authorized to
distribute the forms. Any person who has contacted needing clarification will be
provided further explanation.
Sampling will be stratified random sampling. Sample size will range from 5% to
10% of the total strength of the teaching staff in a particular institution depending
upon size and type of staff.
These teachers will be selected from the specific institutions categorized on the
basis of performance and region etc as per the requirement of the research.