[COGNITION: Cognition is a faculty for the processing of information, applying knowledge, and changing preferences. Cognition, or cognitive processes, can be natural or artificial, conscious or unconscious.
[DISSONANCE: lack of agreement; especially : inconsistency between the beliefs one holds or between one's actions and one's beliefs]
COGNITIVE DISSONANCE is the state of mental discomfort that occurs when a person's attitudes, thoughts, or beliefs (i.e. cognitions) conflict. If two cognitions agree with one another, there is consonance, and a state of comfort results. If two cognitions disagree with one another, there is dissonance, and a state of discomfort results.
One way people alleviate cognitive dissonance is by reducing the importance of dissonance cognitions. Advertising uses this often. See the following link to "ADVERTISING: WHAT PSYCHOLOGICAL TRICKS DO THEY USE?"
Consider cognitive dissonance in the design of advertising and marketing campaigns, or any other context where influence and persuasion is key. Use consonant and dissonant information when attempting to change beliefs. Engage people to invest their time, attention, and immediate mechanisms to alleviate the dissonance.
There is also cognitive dissonance per aesthetics. To go even further, see this TED talk:
TEDxCanberra - Ash Donaldson - Cognitive dissonance
Students: one sample of cognitive dissonance
You may link to an ad campaign online, individual ad, or a piece of artwork. For any of the samples, explain the cognitive dissonance that is shown and explain how it encourages involvement from the viewer to either search for consonance or be touched/troubled by the dissonance.
Please check this each Monday of the semester for information. Put this in your head. Use it. Live it. Be a great designer.