What is cognitive dissonance?

This paper is over the the article below including personal experience. Here are the instructions:
Write a 2-3 page (double-spaced, 12-point font) essay that addresses the following questions. Note that you do not need to go in any sort of order. Feel free to structure the paper however you’d like and discuss any impressions you had of the reading that are not prompted below, but make sure to also address each of the following prompts:

What were your overall impressions of the reading? Were you surprised by the extent to which we justify our decisions and/or are unwilling to admit and confront our own mistakes?

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Provide two examples of cognitive dissonance of which you’ve been guilty.How did you resolve these issues? Did you change your attitudes, your behavior, or both?

Why is it that we seem SO afraid to make mistakes, be it at work, in school, etc.? Where do you think this fear comes from? Is there anything we can do to overcome it?
Do you think that there is anything we can teach our children or learn from a young age that might make us less likely to fall into a dissonant state or to be more willing to admit to our own hypocrisies?

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