Religious beliefs are attitudes and practices based on certain religions (Gilovich, Chen, Keltner, & Nisbett, 2016). Members of the same religion follow certain set religious beliefs according to their supernatural creator (Gilovich et al., 2016). Christians follow the commandments of the Bible where else the Muslims follow commandments based on the Quran (Gilovich et al., 2016). If members of these religions engage in behaviors that are in conflict with the stated religious beliefs, they may face condemnation and even dissonance (Gilovich et al., 2016). This is conflict and disagreement between the members of the religion and the specific individual who has engaged in the behavior. This may affect the individual’s beliefs, which may lead to an individual not adhering to the pre-existing beliefs due to the new information discovered (Gilovich et al., 2016).
Due to the individuals trying to self-justify their arguments, they may convince themselves more about the new knowledge, which they may decide to choose as their new beliefs (Gilovich et al., 2016). This may result to individuals choosing a different path though they may still be in the same religion (Gilovich et al., 2016). The individual may choose information, which supports his/her beliefs to justify the beliefs. Dissonance may also result to an individual to hold more onto his/her religious beliefs (Gilovich et al., 2016). Due to the conflict, the members may seek to solve the conflict by looking for support of other members, which would enable more members to understand and support the religious beliefs. New information and challenges turns individuals into stronger supporters of what they stand for (Gilovich et al., 2016).
People can productively solve dissonance through a change in attitudes and behavior (Gilovich et al., 2016). A change in attitudes will play an important role in solving any conflicts and help other members in listening and understanding each other’s opinions and beliefs (Gilovich et al., 2016). Attitudes influence how two different individuals with varying religious beliefs relate with one another, which will allow a point of consensus for both parties (Gilovich et al., 2016). People may also productively solve dissonance by changing how they act and can use it as a learning experience instead of perceiving it as harm against their beliefs (Gilovich et al., 2016).
Gilovich, T., Chen, S., Keltner, D., & Nisbett, R. E. (2016). Social psychology. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.