August 26, 2010

Verbal Ability - Question Of the Day

Question -
The question below contains a paragraph followed by alternative summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the paragraph.

Cognitive dissonance refers to the mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. The unease or tension that the conflict arouses in a person is relieved by one of several defensive maneuvers: the person rejects, explains away, or avoids the new information, persuades himself that no conflict really exists, reconciles the differences, or resorts to any other defensive means of preserving stability or order in his conception of the world and of himself.

OPTIONS

1) Cognitive dissonance arises when a person maintains stability through rejection, denial, explanation, reconciliation of new information or other such defensive measures.
2) In cognitive dissonance a person experiences conflicts due to the rejection, denial, explanation or reconciliation of new information that contradict his beliefs.
3) Cognitive dissonance is a mental conflict when new information contradicts beliefs. The person may then reject, deny, explain, or reconcile such information to maintain stability.
4) In cognitive dissonance a person rejects, denies, explains, or reconciles as a defensive manoeuvre the threat to his established beliefs that cause conflict.
5) Cognitive dissonance is the defensive manoeuvre to preserve stability in oneself through rejection, denial, explanation, or reconciliation when beliefs are challenged by new information.


Solution
The gist of the paragraph is: Cognitive dissonance refers to the mental conflict that arises when new facts contradict beliefs. One tries to overcome this conflict by various defensive maneuvers like rejection, denial etc.  
Option 3 captures this essence.
All other options mistakenly refer to cognitive dissonance as the rejection or denial or the conflict due to rejection, denial etc.
Rejection or denial is a defensive measure towards the conflict called cognitive dissonance. 
Nor is it a defensive maneuver as option 5 puts it.
Option 4 misses out on the mental conflict part.
Hence, the correct answer is option 3.
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