PTE Summarize Written Text Task Sample 267

Read the passage below and summarize it using one sentence. Type your response in the box at the bottom of the screen. You have 10 minutes to finish this task. Your response will be judged on the quality of your writing and on how well your response presents the key points in the passage.

Cognitive Dissonance

The concept of cognitive dissonance, a psychological theory introduced by Leon Festinger in 1957, explores the discomfort that arises when individuals hold contradictory beliefs or attitudes. Cognitive dissonance theory suggests that when people encounter inconsistency between their beliefs and their actions, they experience a psychological discomfort that drives them to resolve the inconsistency.

One of the key elements of cognitive dissonance theory is the idea that individuals strive for internal consistency in their beliefs and behaviors. When they perceive a misalignment, they may employ various strategies to alleviate the discomfort. These strategies can include changing one’s beliefs or attitudes, acquiring new information to support existing beliefs, or modifying behaviors to align with beliefs.

Cognitive dissonance theory has wide-ranging applications in psychology, marketing, and decision-making. For example, it helps explain why individuals might rationalize unhealthy behaviors like smoking, even when they know the health risks. In marketing, it informs strategies for reducing post-purchase dissonance by reinforcing positive aspects of a product or service.

Understanding cognitive dissonance has implications for promoting behavior change and decision-making. By recognizing the discomfort that arises from conflicting beliefs and actions, individuals can better navigate choices and align their attitudes with their behaviors.


Cognitive dissonance, a psychological theory introduced by Leon Festinger, explores the discomfort arising from contradictory beliefs or attitudes, with individuals seeking internal consistency and employing strategies like changing beliefs or rationalizing behaviors, offering insights into decision-making, behavior change, and applications in psychology and marketing.