Cognitive dissonance

Theory explained by Oreoluwa Akinnawo

Cognitive dissonance, also known as Buyers Remorse, is the psychological discomfort we experience when our belief clashes with contradictory information. This unsettling state of anguish, in turn, motivates us to reconcile the difference, either by changing our behavior or altering the importance of conflicting/dissonant beliefs.

What Is Cognitive Dissonance All About?

Cognitive dissonance, also known as Buyers Remorse, is the psychological discomfort we experience when our belief clashes with contradictory information. This unsettling state of anguish, in turn, motivates us to reconcile the difference, either by changing our behavior or altering the importance of conflicting/dissonant beliefs.

This inconsistency between what people believe and how they behave motivates people to engage in actions that will help minimize feelings of discomfort. People attempt to relieve this tension in different ways, such as by rejecting, explaining away, or avoiding new information. The degree of dissonance people experience can depend on a few different factors, including how highly they value a particular belief and the degree to which their beliefs are inconsistent.

How Can One Manage Cognitive Dissonance?

When you’re ready to manage how Cognitive Dissonance affects your own customers and user base, you begin by asking smart questions that dig a little deeper than the usual problem-solution statement.

  • What secret beliefs do my users hold?
  • What makes my users nervous?
  • Is there a driving emotion underneath each pain point?
  • As more and more people are shopping online, they’re also becoming increasingly skeptical. They notice every tiny detail before they hand over their hard-earned money to you! This means there’s even more of a chance that if they find any conflicting information on your website, they will experience cognitive dissonance.

As a safety measure, one of the first things online shoppers do to lower the perceived risk of a transaction is looking for trust signals, some of which are discussed below.

Testimonials and Reviews: By showcasing social proof on the homepage, product or the pricing page, and near the shopping cart, you will:

  • Reassure your customers of their choice.
  • Counter any objection/contradictory thought that surfaces in their mind.
  • Stop them from unnecessarily overthinking the consequences.

Cognitive Dissonance example trusted by companies like amazon and lego

Multiple, Reputable Payment Options: According to a survey published on HubSpot, 59% of buyers abandon a transaction if their preferred payment option isn’t available. This is because people have a varying degree of loyalty towards different payment methods. So bear that in mind and tailor your payment process accordingly. You’ll be leaving a lot of money on the table if you don’t!

Trust Logos: With fraud cases on the rise, people are wary about sharing their private information, fearing it will be misused. The good news though is that with trust logos (privacy seals, SSLs, or brand association badges) in place you can tell your customers they are in safe hands.

Cognitive dissonance example trusted logo's

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Books

Would you like to go more in-depth? Here are our recommendations:

The theory of cognitive dissonance: A marketing and management perspective by Deniz Kantur, E. Eser Telci & Ceyda Maden Buy this book

Sources

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