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Title: Cognitive dissonance theory as interpretation framework for interpersonal relations of characters
Authors: Serebryakova, S. V.
Серебрякова, С. В.
Keywords: Cognitive dissonance theory;Interpersonal relations;Interpretation;Literary character;Speech-action strategies
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Tambov State University
Citation: Serebriakova, S.V. Cognitive dissonance theory as interpretation framework for interpersonal relations of characters // Voprosy Kognitivnoy Lingvistiki. - 2018. - Issue 1. - pp. 137-143.
Series/Report no.: Voprosy Kognitivnoy Lingvistiki
Abstract: The article studies functional-pragmatic aspects of communication between literary characters in the light of cognitive dissonance theory by Leon Festinger. The goal of the article is to reveal specific features of interpersonal relations between the characters by the example of a story by a modern German writer J. Hermann «Nichts als Gespenster». Cognitive dissonance theory provides relevant impetus to study communication, motivation and tolerance issues related to cognitive experience of a person. The article describes how incentive power of cognitive dissonance motivates the characters' behavior, aimed at achieving harmony. In the focus of narration there are contradictory interpersonal relations of a young couple - Ellen and Felix. The study analyzes speech-action strategies of characters, internal and external factors enhancing psychological discomfort and crisis in their relations. The characters, who have different cognitive experience in close partnership, interpret the cognitive dissonance in a diametrically opposite way: Felix shows a passive-contemplative type of behavior with the negative interpretation of the current situation, while Ellen demonstrates an active and initiative type of behavior. With the reference to illustrative contexts the author describes the mechanisms of mitigation and overcoming the cognitive dissonance in the interpersonal relations preconditioned by new experience and individual motivation of characters
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