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Abstract

Research and theoretical developments on the theory of cognitive dissonance are reviewed. After this critical review, we present the action-based model of dissonance, which accepts the original theory's proposal that a sufficient cognitive inconsistency causes dissonance and extends the original theory by proposing why cognitive inconsistency prompts dissonance. Finally, we present results from behavioral and physiological experiments examining predictions derived from the action-based model. In particular, this evidence converges with recent neuroscience evidence in suggesting that the anterior cingulate cortex and left prefrontal cortical region are involved in conflict detection and resolution, respectively.