Meaning of cognitive dissonance

cog'nitive dis'sonance

Pronunciation: [key]
— Psychol. Psychol.
  1. anxiety that results from simultaneously holding contradictory or otherwise incompatible attitudes, beliefs, or the like, as when one likes a person but disapproves strongly of one of his or her habits.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.