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Cognitive dissonance has been one of the most enduring and successful theories in the history of social psychology. This paper examines the origins of the theory and the controversies it engendered. I then examine the evolution of dissonance as it emerged from a theory focused solely on the inconsistency among cognitions to a more complex set of principles that accommodated the voluminous data that had been gathered throughout the ensuing decades. The paper considers what I refer to as thedoi:10.5334/irsp.277 fatcat:hnizmhmhhnb3ljp26vjbidfqeu