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It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Cognitive dissonance. (Discuss)

The cognitive consistency theory is a motivational theory that states that tension arising out of conflicting thoughts motivates behavior in an attempt to reduce that tension. Specifically, it maintains that the internal balance of beliefs, thoughts, and behavior determines the level of motivation. When cognitive inconsistencies occur, tension arises, and the result is behavior that is aimed at reducing tension.

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