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Have We Been Thinking About Willpower the Wrong Way for 30 Years?

Stashed in: Awesome, HBR, Willpower!, Cognitive Bias

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Cognitive Dissonance (by Saul McLeod published 2008, updated 2014)

"Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This produces a feeling of discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance etc. 

For example, when people smoke (behavior) and they know that smoking causes cancer (cognition)."

Cognitive dissonance is one of the key forms of cognitive bias. We see examples all over the place. 

So how should we think of willpower?

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