Cognitive distress (Festinger, L. 1962). In Singapore context,

Dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors
(McLeod, S. 1970, January
01). It consists of two parts, “consonance” the consistency, which causes a
person to try to eliminate and achieve consonance, and “dissonance” the
inconsistency, which causes someone to avoid situations and stimuli that adds
distress (Festinger, L. 1962).


In Singapore context, this theory
can be applied in campaigns like Singapore Kindness Movement and Plaster the
Silence Campaign to improve its concepts to its audience. It is seen that
people rid themselves of cognitive dissonance whenever they do a good deed
because they feel an emotional reaction to the thought of helping others. For
example, this can be applied in Singapore Kindness Movement as it constantly
helps to change Singaporean’s attitudes and behaviors. This also helps decrease
their cognitive dissonance to be more aware about their surroundings, to help people
when needed and to be considerate citizens. This includes simple tasks like
giving up seats for the elderly, injured or expecting mothers.

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Cognitive dissonance is also
applied in Plaster the Silence Campaign. Plaster the Silence Campaign also uses
cognitive consonance by sending messages to prevent suicide thoughts to those
who are facing it. In this campaign, black plasters were given out to help symbolize
citizen’s support for people facing it and for people facing it to start
opening up about their feelings and their experiences to help themselves
recover from their toxic thoughts (Tay, V. 2016, September 06). Therefore,
eliminating stimulus that adds distress to them to achieve a cognitive
consonance and changing their behaviors gradually to a better state.