Author Website


Commentary Type

Invited Commentary


Thomas R. Zentall, Cognitive dissonance or contrast?


In his target article, Zentall asks: “to experience cognitive dissonance is it necessary for one to have conflicting beliefs or even beliefs at all?” He then argues that a simple behavioral process, the Within Trial Contrast Effect, may be sufficient to explain observed cognitive dissonance effects in nonhuman animals and possibly humans as well. We agree with Zentall that this effect is sufficient to explain many reported cognitive dissonance effects in nonhuman animals, but question its sufficiency for primate behavior (both monkeys and humans).

Author Biography

Benjamin R. Eisenreich, Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Rochester, studies the neuronal basis of economic decision making and motivation. http://www.haydenlab.com

Benjamin Y. Hayden, Assistant Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester, studies how our decision-making hardware (our brains) compares different options and chooses the most rewarding ones. http://www.haydenlab.com