Commentary Type

Open Commentary


Thomas R. Zentall, Cognitive dissonance or contrast?


Zentall (2016) proposed within-trial contrast as an alternative account of cognitive dissonance with greater parsimony and generalizability between human and nonhuman species. This commentary describes forms of reductionism, categorizes several competing accounts of cognitive dissonance phenomena, and addresses the strengths and weaknesses according to the reductionist form each account takes. A focus on functional relations may make explanation more parsimonious while bridging theoretical divides between human and nonhuman research programs.

Author Biography

Kent D. Bodily is Associate Professor of Psychology at Georgia Southern University. His research focuses on mechanisms of learning and cognition in spatial navigation, reorientation, and choice.