Historical Who is Who
1919 - 1989
Influential social psychologist, best known for the theories of cognitive dissonance and of social comparison. Festinger observed that the dissonance created by exposure to challengingly different beliefs often leads to even stronger attestation of those beliefs as a means of avoiding the unsettlement of rejecting or changing them. He also noted that people commonly compare themselves with others in forging their own self-understandings, and that they are most influenced by those nearest to them – the ‘propinquity theory’. The relevance of these observations for moral education is self-evident.