Cognitive dissonance describes a state of discontent that is generated within an individual when two beliefs, motives or ideas that they hold become apparently contradictory and they are driven to resolve the conflict in order to remove the discontent. Cognitive dissonance is a theory of human motivation that asserts that it is psychologically displeasing or uncomfortable to hold contradictory ideas. Thus dissonance, being unpleasant, motivates a person to change their thinking, beliefs, attitudes, or behavior.