Experiencing Cognitive Dissonance During COVID-19

Due to the changes brought on by the pandemic, I noticed how my consumer needs and shopping habits changed and my experiences with cognitive dissonance increased. I created the following infographic to illustrate what some of my experiences have been like as a student and consumer living in Germany.

Cognitive dissonance occurs when our actions and intentions or beliefs are not aligned. This creates a sense of discomfort and regret that affects our conscience. Post-purchase dissonance is the term used to describe the unsettling feeling we have after a regrettable purchase has been made.

On the left side of the infographic are the “beliefs” I have about my consumer experiences: I have focused on utilitarian needs, hedonic needs, and scarcity. On the right side I have shared my personal experiences of how I have experienced cognitive dissonance for each case.


Infograph depicting how Cognitive Dissonance impacts a consumer's "beliefs" and "actions".
My experiences during the pandemic in Germany can be best expressed by examining my utilitarian (basic) needs; my hedonic (luxury) needs; and attitude towards scarcity. I experienced post-purchase dissonance in cases where I purchased basic needs items such as toilet paper that had become scarce. I experienced cognitive dissonance when I had to cancel a European vacation due to growing infection rates and regret when I socialized with friends at a time when the risk was high and we were on the verge of re-entering lock-down conditions.

By Lena Müller (2021, August)



Share This Book